23 Reasons Why Brainstorming Fizzles

by Mitch Ditkoff

23 Reasons Why Brainstorming FizzlesHow many times have you participated in a brainstorming session, only to be underwhelmed by the utter lack of follow up?

Unfortunately, in most businesses, this is often the norm.

Here’s why:

  1. The output of the session is underwhelming.
  2. No one has taken the time, pre-brainstorm, to consider follow-up.
  3. No criteria is established to evaluate the output.
  4. No next steps are established at the end of the session.
  5. No champions (i.e. process owners) are identified.
  6. The champions are not really committed.
  7. The champions are committed, but under-estimate the effort.
  8. The ideas are too threatening to key stakeholders.
  9. No one is accountable for results.
  10. The project leader doesn’t stay in contact with key players and “out of sight, out of mind” takes over.
  11. The “steering committee” takes their hands off the wheel.
  12. The next brainstorming session is scheduled too quickly.
  13. The output of the session is not documented.
  14. No sponsors are on board.
  15. Participants’ managers are not supportive of the effort
  16. It takes too long to document the output of the session.
  17. The output is not distributed to stakeholders in a timely way.
  18. Participants and stakeholders do not read the output.
  19. Bureaucracy and company politics rule the day.
  20. Somebody, in the session, is disengaged and sabotages the effort.
  21. Teamwork and collaboration is in short supply.
  22. Small wins are not celebrated. People lose heart.
  23. Participants perceive follow-up as “more work to do” instead of a great opportunity to really make a difference.

What else should be on this list?


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Mitch DitkoffMitch Ditkoff is the Co-Founder and President of Idea Champions and the author of “Awake at the Wheel”, as well as the very popular Heart of Innovation blog.

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