Learn, Share, Grow - The Better Way to Find New Ideas

learn share grow

July 17, 2023

Below is a lesson from CNBC on a more effective way to find new ideas than brainstorming, as well as our key learnings.

The Blue Courage team is dedicated to continual learning and growth.  We have adopted a concept from Simon Sinek’s Start With Why team called “Learn, Share, Grow”.  We are constantly finding great articles, videos, and readings that have so much learning.  As we learn new and great things, this new knowledge should be shared for everyone to then grow from.

Ivy League expert: Brainstorming doesn’t work—here’s a better way to find new ideas

by Ashton Jackson

Brainstorming is a popular way of coming up with new ideas. Just because it’s well-known, however, doesn’t mean it’s the most effective, according to a Columbia professor.

Like many people, Sheena Iyengar, author of “Think Bigger: How to Innovate,” was encouraged to brainstorm in school, she tells CNBC Make It. Some experts even swear by the group-thinking exercise.

After becoming an educator herself, though, Iyengar realized that brainstorming “doesn’t deliver.” You’re better off coming up with ideas solo, she says.

This became even more evident to her while she was teaching her classes. “I began to see up close that brainstorming wasn’t working,” Iyengar says. ”[My students] would generate so many ideas and feel really proud of themselves. And yet, when I would ask [them], ‘So what idea on your list do you think is worth pursuing?,’ that’s where things started to fall apart.”

Continue Reading Here.

 Key Learnings:

  • Brainstorming as a group often gets underwhelming results because of reasons such as social loafing, production block and anxiety.
  • Social loafing - "free riding". People tend to make less of an effort when working in teams than solo.
  • Production blocking - team members can often only express a single idea if they want others to hear them.
  • Brainstorming can also introduce bias as the person who speaks first usually “serves as a reference point.” Others will then be more inclined to alter their ideas based on what that person says.
  • The best way to produce quality ideas is through independent thought. When most people come up with their best ideas it's often in places like the shower or during a jog. 
  • Independent thinking requires some structure to be effective:
    • Write your ideas on a piece of paper, detailing what the problem is and why each solution could possibly fix it. 
    • Say what you’ve written out loud. Our ideas can seem great in our head, but turn out to be a lot more “vague” when we vocalize them.
    • Trust your own judgment. 
  • Sharing independent ideas together can produce positive outcomes.

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