Upgrade Your Brainstorming: Brainwriting

There’s no avoiding it: brainstorming is a staple of basically any modern creative effort. It begins meetings, projects, businesses, art, architecture, movies, and so on. But despite our constant practice, we still seem to get a lot of it wrong.

Apparently, one of the things we’ve gotten wrong all this time is that we start with our mouths open.

According to research from Kellogg school professors Leigh Thompson and Loran Nordgren, starting with each individual writing down ideas in silence leads to an increase of original ideas by somewhere between 20% and 40%. Fast Company reports:

To avoid these problems, both Thompson and Nordgren suggest another, quieter process: brainwriting. (The phrase, now used by Thompson, was coined by UT Arlington professor Paul Paulus.) The general principle is that idea generation should exist separate from discussion. Although the two professors have slightly different systems, they both offer the same general solution: write first, talk second.

Professor Nordgren has apparently also developed an app, called Candor, which facilitates Brainwriting as a process.

Hat tip to Stewart Ugelow for the link.