True or False? There is No Such Thing as a Bad Idea When Brainstorming!

From:  http://www.fairfaxcountyeda.org/bay-area-tech-wire

This article attracted my attention.  Any design book or concept workshop that I have ever attended say that every idea should be noted and considered during the brainstorming process.  We get another perspective here:

“There’s No Such Thing as a Bad Idea When Brainstorming – True or False?”

By Mitchell Rigie and Keith Harmeyer

“There’s no such thing as a bad idea!” Whether you’re in advertising, sales, HR, or just slaving away in the back cubicle, at some point, you’ve probably been involved in a brainstorming session where someone has uttered those brave words. In fact, the mantra is often upheld as the #1 “rule” of brainstorming, long embraced and championed by experts.

But is it really true? After all, when you think about it, you usually hear those words when they’re being used to justify a less-than-stellar suggestion that’s just been made by a colleague. In reality, aren’t there at least a few bad ideas lurking in the shadows?

In our SmartStorming corporate training sessions, we always introduce the “no bad idea” notion. More often than not, a heated debate ensues.

Most of us have at least a vague understanding of the expression’s meaning—but many of us just don’t buy it. When the debate comes up, there’s always one participant, and often many more, who challenge this notion that bad ideas don’t exist. We typically hear comments like, Of course there are bad ideas! If we all decided to jump out of the window right now and defy gravity, wouldn’t that be a bad idea?

3 Comments
  1. This article hits much more on the real issue with idea generation – proper management. It’s been my experience that the people most willing to shoot down others’ ideas are the least likely to contribute anything useful or positive.

    • There are in reality some “bad” ideas. I think the point is that all or most should be on the table before any thinning or discards take place. Yes, all participants need to contribute and it should be fast-paced, energetic process.

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