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 the founder of Enliven. He is an expert in user experience and design, product launches, and business development.