August 20, 2015

The Brainstorming Myth

Read The New Yorker article on brainstorming that Rex Jung and Krista discussed in the show, including this intriguing bit about MIT's Building 20:

"The fatal misconception behind brainstorming is that there is a particular script we should all follow in group interactions. The lesson of Building 20 is that when the composition of the group is right—enough people with different perspectives running into one another in unpredictable ways—the group dynamic will take care of itself. All these errant discussions add up. In fact, they may even be the most essential part of the creative process. Although such conversations will occasionally be unpleasant—not everyone is always in the mood for small talk or criticism—that doesn’t mean that they can be avoided. The most creative spaces are those which hurl us together. It is the human friction that makes the sparks."

Read more of the scholarship on brainstorming that informed The New Yorker article:
» The Liberating Role of Conflict in Group Creativity: A Cross Cultural Study
» Influence and Persuasion in Small Groups

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is an Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. He's a Distinguished Senior Advisor to the Positive Neuroscience Project, based at the University of Pennsylvania.