We all know what brainstorming is and most of use might have been apart of it throughout our career. However, the effectiveness of this exercise has been proven to be… well, less effective by many. It might have worked for some people but in our case, it hasn’t. While brainstorming is fun and it brings everyone together, the results are not many of the ideas made it to reality. For whatever reason, whether it’s a poor idea generation process or people being distracted with small details, it hasn’t worked out well.

I’ve recently learned at a meeting that there is a method called “Brainswarming” published on HBR by Dr. Tony McCaffrey. It is quite simple. You start by presenting a problem with a few known resources, everyone’s job is to not talk to each other but start writing their solutions down on a sticky note; then everyone comes together and shares them. This way people come up with many more creative solutions and the team will help to identify which one works best for the set problem.

The video below explains a bit further about the detail of the approach.

Have you ever tried brainswarming before? If so, I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts below.

Cuong is a self-described cultural nerd with an appetite for the unfamiliar. Among his favorite experiences is arriving at a remote airport and finding himself surrounded by things he’s never before seen, people he can’t communicate with, and new cuisine to indulge in. This innate curiosity and energy for discovering new frontiers, paired with his entrepreneurial spirit, led Cuong to begin Enliven with co-founder Ian Robinson.   Cuong’s career has afforded him opportunities to work with Fortune 500 brands, play critical roles in product launches (including redesigning the user experience of the DNN Software 6.0 framework, the world’s leading open source .NET content management system), and publish an ebook with WROX on web standards. An accomplished speaker, Cuong has presented at conferences throughout the US and abroad.   As Enliven’s CEO, Cuong directs business strategy and serves as team lead on user experience and design work. No matter the task at hand, Cuong is constantly seeking ways to carry out his passion for designing technology that improves the way we live, work, and play.

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