Nearly 50 percent of us are introverts. We are known to be very creative. Susan Cain's bestselling book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking, nicely details all of this. We need quiet and alone time in order to manifest our creativity. Why then would managers engage in a group problem solving process that may stifle half of their team and result in loss of productivity for the whole group? In other words, why use brainstorming?
Brainswarming is a new group idea-generation process conducted in silence while people write on Post-Its and place them on a structured graph so the group can build on each other's ideas. The graph stays up on a wall so people don't even have to work together at the same time. It is ideal for introverts, but actually is better for the productivity of the whole group. See the Harvard Business Review video for an example.
Brainstorming requires talking and supposedly the facilitator keeps the extroverts from dominating. But why use a possibly expensive facilitator to try to keep the talkative ones under control when the silence of the Brainswarming process does this for you? Or, why use a team member as the facilitator when that team member should be focusing on producing ideas?
Osborn had great goals in mind when he invented brainstorming. The problem is brainstorming never lived up to those goals. And brainstorming can be a horrendous and unfruitful experience for nearly half of the population (us introverts). Brainswarming lives up to Osborn's goals much better by keeping the good parts of brainstorming and getting rid of the bad. One nice effect is that it lets us introverts shine.
See more about Osborn's goals how Brainswarming achieves them better in the following blog.
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