On Creativity

Meetings make us dumber, study shows (via Slashdot.org)
from the article:

The researchers speculate that when a group of people receives information, the inclination is to discuss it. The more times one option is said aloud, the harder it is for individuals to recall other options, explained Krishnan, associate professor of marketing at Indiana University.

This is interesting because it confirms something a creative director I know recently told me regarding brainstorming sessions she holds for project kick-offs. She said 2 things normally happen in every brainstorm:
a) A few solid ideas come from the same few people every time
b) She goes into the meeting knowing what ideas she wants to use already
This is an unfortunate situation. The MSNBC article suggests , “Alone, they came up with significantly more products than when they were grouped with two others.” This reminds me of Google’s famous “twenty percent” policy (via Google Jobs):

Google engineers all have “20 percent time” in which they’re free to pursue projects they’re passionate about. This freedom has already produced Google News, Google Suggest, AdSense for Content, and Orkut – products which might otherwise have taken an entire start-up to launch.

I still think it’s important to involve a variety of people on projects because great ideas can truly come from anywhere and anyone – maybe the key is not putting everyone in a room together.