Longer term subscribers of this newsletter may have heard us bang on about why brainstorming is bollocks. One of many reasons why brainstorming is so ineffective is because of a psychological phenomenon known as social loafing. Social loafing relates to the fact that as humans, we have a tendency to work harder when working on our own – because when we are part of a group, responsibility is spread out, and thus we can slack off a little bit.
So in order to take the social loafing out of your innovation workshops, make sure you put responsibility back onto every individual. One of the most common ways we do this in our workshops at Inventium is giving everyone ‘individual’ idea generation time (which sometimes happens prior to the workshop, sometimes during, and somethings both prior and during), after which, each person has to ‘present’ back the ideas they just generated. By adding in this solo time, you will make sure everyone gives 100% effort. Indeed, a huge body of scientific evidence shows that when you go solo first, you will end up with a stack more of ideas and much greater diversity in those ideas too.