The Ritualization of Creation--The Role of Ritual In Innovation

I was once nearly thrown out of a brainstorming session at IDEO and it marked me for life. No kidding. I behaved the way I always behave at a meeting—agreeing and disagreeing with the participants. So, in reaction to a comment, I said “yes, but….” and was pummeled by the IDEOers for my transgression. My sin was not knowing the ritual of social engagement that generated new ideas. In most good brainstorming sessions, the goal is to build upon others suggestions, not criticize or eliminate them. I was using an efficiency—choice screen to make decisions on the suggestions and prioritize them. The people around the table were using a generative—additive screen requiring a very different behavior.

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