Most brainstorming sessions wrap by attempting to select the best ideas on the whiteboard. When you do that, what you’re actually doing is attempting to eliminate the worst ideas via logical techniques such as convergent and critical thinking.

That’s counterproductive. It reinstates whatever biases you managed to escape during the brainstorm, and it kills your most promising creations. Those creations will be less developed than old standbys and so often will get crossed off the whiteboard as imperfect or impractical. What these nascent intuitions need instead is further development, via counterfactual thinking.

A more effective approach is to use this two-step, “meet the moment” process. This method matches your originality to the moment. In stable and certain environments, highly creative options are less likely to work, so there’s no need to try them. In unstable and uncertain environments, less-creative options are doomed, so the value proposition lies in gambling on a long shot.



Harvard Business Review (2022, March 24) Angus Fletcher: 3 Exercises to Boost Your Team’s Creativity