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How many times do you hear the phrase “Let’s brainstorm” in an average month at work? Despite brainstorming being over 70 years old, many organisations still believe it is God’s gift to idea generation.

Recent research would suggest otherwise. George Davison and his colleagues explored the difference in idea output of groups generating ideas versus people doing it alone. They divided their research participants into two groups. The first group was required to generate ideas with a team of people while the second group of people was asked to work individually. The researchers then gave participants a difficult problem to solve that required creative thinking to generate potential solutions.

Following idea generation time, all ideas were rated on originality, feasibility and effectiveness by a group of independent assessors. Davison found that those working individually actually performed significantly better than the groups across all three dimensions.

And the moral of this study? Use groups to build on ideas, not to generate them.


Are you feeling lucky, punk?

A group of researchers in the UK were sitting around pondering the question: is there a correlation between how lucky we perceive ourselves to be and the month in which we were born? So they went and tested it. They found that those born in the Summer months rated themselves as being significantly luckier than those born in the Winter months.

Thankfully for those born in Winter months, scientific studies have shown that luck has almost nothing to do with creativity.


Are you dying for your birthday?

As we always bang on about, exposure to a diverse range of information is a great way to increase creativity. Here is some randomness for you to digest this tri-night…

Women are more likely to die during the week after their birthday than at any other time during the year. In contrast, men are more likely to die in the week before their birthday. Researchers suggested that this is because women tend to look forward to their birthday as a time of celebration whereas men tend to use their birthday to take stock of their lives and evaluate what they have (or have not) achieved.