If you work in an office, your boss has probably forced you into a brainstorming session or two (or 12). Invented in the 1940s by an advertising executive, the purpose was to solicit a large number of ideas in a short period of time. By putting a collective of creative people in the same room, better concepts should come. Sounds very agile.

However, science has shown several times that brainstorming is a terrible technique. It’s cumbersome due to all of the interdependent activities happening at once. When spending time generating ideas as a group, you often spend more time thinking of others ideas than your own.

Fortunately, a relatively unknown technique is starting to gain popularity called brainwriting. Simply put, brainwriting involves a group generating ideas alone and passing them around the group in short bursts. It’s a combination of group and individual interactions. Incorporating it into your team events can produce more diverse ideas and provide a friendlier environment for collaboration. In this session, I will review my experience with them in the past year and leave the audience with some tools to bring brainwriting back to their offices.

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