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The Myth of Brainstorming

In the January 30, 2012 issue of The New Yorker, author Jonah Lehrer examines one of the staples of Six Sigma–brainstorming. While widely taught as a way to identify problems and solutions, it turns out to be less than useful.

Tests of brainstorming over the last sixty years have shown that it produces fewer “feasible” and “effective” solutions than individuals working alone.

One of the rules of brainstorming is to not criticize or debate ideas. Research has shown, however, that debate and criticism are key to producing better ideas.

Stop Brainstorming! Start using data to pinpoint problems and then do root cause analysis to figure out why they are happening.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Six Sigma.

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