Emperors New Clothes Syndrome …

A man we respect enormously, Richard Huntingdon, has come out and said he is passionately opposed to brainstorm meetings because he feels they are ineffective, a waste of time and are more about cultivating mediocrity than powerful, motivating ideas.

What a load of bollocks.

Actually we’ll re-phrase that … Semi-Bollocks.

You see on one hand we can understand where he is coming from … quite often these meetings are attended by individuals with little experience [both interms of work and life] so their frame of reference and/or ability to recognise a great idea is severely limited – resulting in the sort of ’bland idea by committee’ output he finds [quite rightly] so offensive.

However … and it’s a big however … it’s not right to say ALL brainstorm meetings are pointless because 

1 If you DO have the right people in attendance, amazing things can happen. [Look at where some of Apple / IKEA / Pfizer / Sainsbury’s greatest ideas came from]

2 As far as we know, there is no law saying a moderator has to be all nicey-nicey and ensure ‘everyone goes home happy’. PLF members tend to be complete bastards when they run these things because [i] they won’t settle for 2nd best, [ii] they believe with the right guidance [and forward planning – including helping the participants see what they could achieve]  great things can happen, even if it still is the exception rather than the rule.

At his level … brainstorm meetings are as much about advancing the minds of the people in attendance as they are reaching an ‘idea’.

Look, we appreciate Richard’s frustrations … we acknowledge the big potential of mediocrity … but to come out and say anyone who does a brainstorm meeting is a celebrant of mediocrity is fucking bollocks.

Some people need to remember that ego is as dangerous as mediocrity.

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