Brainstorming: Friend or Foe?

We’ve all been there. The boss asks, “Who has a good idea?” A few vocal people speak up and dominate the discussion for most of the meeting, while the rest of the participants remain mostly quiet. Ideas are evaluated and rejected as soon as they are proposed. The meeting ends without an action plan, and nothing really happens afterwards. That’s a recipe for a disastrous and frustrating brainstorming session.

The practice of brainstorming has come under criticism lately, and rightly so.

Where Ideas Come From at IBM

"Who has a good idea?" That question is often heard in times of great desperation. However, in that environment, good ideas are usually nowhere to be found.

In a recent New York Times article entitled “How IBM Brings Ideas Forward From Its Teams,” Phil Guebert, General Manager of Design at IBM, describes how elements of design thinking help shape the ideation process at IBM.

Guebert compares traditional brainstorming to the Breakfast Club.

Turning Change into Innovation Gold in 5 Steps

“Greed is good” is the quote made famous by Gordon Gekko in the movie “Wall Street.” Innovators would argue that "Change is good."

Innovators consider change to be good, because they know that change brings opportunity. More specifically, change brings opportunity for innovation.

Change is Good

Mindfulness is characteristic of the innovation mindset. Although innovators are generally highly observant, they are especially observant when it comes to change. They watch for change with anticipation. When they identify change, they go to work.

Imagine prospectors swirling their pans, watching for