Counter-intuitive

Images from the Insight Labs discussion January 20, 2012. Photos by JasonSmith.com
Photo by JasonSmith.com

Nearly everybody gets brainstorming wrong. That’s the central idea of an interview in Forbes with Jeff Leitner, about halfway through our five-year run of leading Insight Labs.

“Don’t brainstorm. I know that’s deeply counter-intuitive, but brainstorming in a group is a waste of the group’s inherent value. We believe strongly that an idea we create collectively – you say something, I add something, you challenge, I improve, etc. – is infinitely more valuable than an idea that one of us generates alone, even if the collective idea isn’t quite right.

“Brainstorming, as it’s generally proselytized, is a solitary activity practiced together. You don’t need collaborators for that.”

We launched Insight Labs in 2010, and in only five years, engaged more than 750 big thinkers from business, government, philanthropy, academia and the arts to solve problems on behalf of 45 public, private and social-sector institutions.