Nov 11, 2011

Brainstorming: food for thought

Ever get a group of cross-functional people in a room for a CRM or PRM tactical planning session? Perhaps to plan media placement or other promotional ideas? Better ask them to do some self-study ahead of time.

A recent article in The Washington Post by Jena McGregor comments on a research study about brainstorming. The study was done in the Journal of Cognitive Psychology by Nicholas Kohn and Steven Smith, two researchers at the University of Texas at Arlington and Texas A&M University.

The researchers asked undergraduate students to contribute ideas, both individually and in collective groups. They shared the ideas on a computer, either in small chat groups or alone, but combined together after the fact. As expected, those made up of individual ideas that were later pulled together, outperformed the real chat groups, both with the number of ideas and the diversity of them.

Thus, think about asking teammates to make a short list before hand, to avoid the herd mentality.