Human-ities · Performativity

Groupthink: The brainstorming myth

In the late nineteen-forties, Alex Osborn, a partner in the advertising agency B.B.D.O., decided to write a book in which he shared his creative secrets. At the time, B.B.D.O. was widely regarded as the most innovative firm on Madison Avenue. Born in 1888, Osborn had spent much of his career in Buffalo, where he started out working in newspapers, and his life at B.B.D.O. began when he teamed up with another young adman he’d met volunteering for the United War Work Campaign. By the forties, he was one of the industry’s grand old men, ready to pass on the lessons he’d learned. His book “Your Creative Power” was published in 1948. An amalgam of pop science and business anecdote, it became a surprise best-seller. Osborn promised that, by following his advice, the typical reader could double his creative output. Such a mental boost would spur career success—“To get your foot in the door, your imagination can be an open-sesame”—and also make the reader a much happier person. “The more you rub your creative lamp, the more alive you feel,” he wrote.

Written by Jonah Lehrer, The New Yorker. Continue HERE

2 thoughts on “Groupthink: The brainstorming myth

  1. This was a fascinating article and I second your recommendation, but there was a follow-up letter to the New Yorker which pointed out that Lehrer does not discriminate between criticism-for-criticism’s sake and constructive criticism. I agree — criticism is crucial, but one can push forward without being a jerk.

  2. I agree, I much rather use “creative response” rather than criticism. I find it a much more constructive approach. Thank you Matthew!

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