To their surprise, the researchers found that virtual groups, where people brainstormed individually, generated nearly twice as many ideas as the real groups.
And as to quality? …
In addition, in the studies where the quality of ideas was measured, researchers found that the total number of good ideas was much higher in virtual groups than in real groups.
And yet, in my experience with the companies I’ve worked for the idea of getting people together to generate ideas for problem-solving or whatever is the norm. I just recently finished serving on a lil’ ol’ task force of about six people where we had to come up with … ahem … a better way to work in a particular circumstance.
And boy! was it painful.
Personalities aside, the biggest problem for me (and probably the biggest reason why I loathed attending these meetings) was that the ideas that came out of our discussions were really really un-creative.
LifeDev offers a thought about this …
We already knew that meetings make us dumber. The more people that are present when forming ideas, the less you have time to let them marinate, and it’s this marination time that lets the ideas really evolve.