Tips: Brainstorming and Contracts

Whether you're brainstorming with colleagues or hammering out a contract, taking everyone's viewpoint into consideration leads to the best outcome.

“The idea of a lone genius is a myth.”


Much like “thinking outside the box,” “brainstorming” is a piece of midcentury business jargon that ought to be eradicated from the workplace, not least because research shows that the concept behind it doesn’t work.

“Creativity is not about having one big blast of insight where suddenly everything becomes clear and the clouds part,” says Keith Sawyer, a professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill who researches creativity, collaboration and learning. “We have all sorts of research evidence that you’re better off having everyone do it alone,” he says.

This is not breaking news: One decade after Alex Osborne first extolled the benefits of team brainstorming in his 1948 book, Your Creative Power, scientists at Yale University had already ...

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