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Creative Thinking: Better Solo Than in Teams July 8, 2007

Posted by sharynheili in Creativity, Teams.

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Recent research from the University of Indiana demonstrated that groups or teams came up with far less creative ideas together than when alone.   The University studied consumer choice involving a brand of soft drinks.   They asked individuals to come up with alternative brands after showing them one brand.  Alone the inidviduals came up with far more choices than when in a group.   

Do meetings make us dumber,  as the headline to the MSNBC suggests, or does our creative thinking really diminish when we are in team meetings?  Are we less effective trying to solve problems “thinking outside the box” in groups than alone? 

More research will likely give us the answers.   It will be interesting to watch, especially since businesses and libraries have been forming teams and touting their effectiveness.

I know that my best creative thinking comes while I’m driving in the car alone or in the shower, obviously very alone.  

Sharyn Heili