What´s the difference between Brainstorm and Brainwriting?


You may have heard of Brainstorm – you may have even attended a brainstorming meeting or even conducted the process.

If you do not know it, we explain: a Brainstorm is a meeting with a specific end goal (which may be creating a new product or validating a business, for example), in which everyone present can give ideas – from the simplest to the most absurd.

But, did you know that there is a variation of this method? Know, then, the two strands: Brainstorm and Brainwriting.

Understand more about it in today’s article.

What is a Brainstorm?

For years, Brainstorm was seen as the best option to come up with creative ideas and involve entire teams in the process. However, in recent times, it has been perceived that this model of meeting privileges more eloquent professionals.

More outgoing people tend to talk more and dominate the environment, making their ideas more prominent. However, employees who are timider or who do not have too much time in the company may feel trapped and therefore do not put their ideas out.

Professor Leigh Thompson of the Celg School of Management in the USA developed the Brainwriting method in response to Brainstorm. According to the professor, 62% of the ideas of a Brainstorm comes from the more developed participants, who end up monopolizing the conversation.

In addition, the ideas proposed by these professionals – even by the way they are said – gain priority in the analyses, given the conviction with which they are presented.

What is Brainwriting?

Brainwriting, therefore, proposes that, before beginning a verbal discussion, all participants write their ideas anonymously on small pieces of paper.

Only when everyone registers their insights does the meeting, in fact, begin. In this way, the process allows for fairness between the ideas proposed: everyone has the same voice, including those who, because they do not like or can not, speak less.

The proposal is that introverted professionals – or those in “minor” positions, such as trainees or novices – have the same creative potential as those who already dominate the subject and the environment.

Another important point is the maintenance of anonymity. As much as you want to find out who had the best ideas and proposals, the idea is that no one assumes its authorship.

Thus, the final product ends up being developed by all involved, starting from an initial idea. Since the power of decision is equated, each participant also has the same responsibility for the result

There are even specific apps for this type of meeting, which replace the roles by texts typed on the cell phone, for example. Such an application can greatly ease the process, as those involved write down and send their ideas before the meeting even begins – which optimizes time and provides even more insights.

Brainwriting is a great opportunity for teams that need to test new ways to create and mentor employees. The sense of belonging is greater, and the process creates strong links between the company and employees.

Como escolher entre o Brainstorm e Brainwriting?

Getting the best of Brainstorm and Brainwriting, then, is the answer for groups that want to develop their creative potential to the fullest, given that the ultimate goal of both methods is this. The point is to innovate in the company, seeking new ways of acting that bring better results.

In smaller, more cohesive groups, where everyone has a hierarchical balance and does not feel intimidated to put forth their ideas, it is possible to get the most out of Brainstorm.

On the other hand, in more heterogeneous teams or in which the members are not yet comfortable expressing themselves, using Brainwriting can be a way, even, to break this type of barrier.

Understanding the two concepts – Brainstorm and Brainwriting -, it is possible to reconcile their use to favor the creative process and to achieve the maximum of its potential. It is therefore up to the management of the team to analyze each situation and choose the most appropriate way to conduct the meeting.

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