Does Brainstorming for Innovation Work? Maybe not… when you consider personality style

extraversion + introversion
extraversion + introversion (Photo credit: tind)


“Fresh ideas come when your brain is relaxed and engaged in something other than the particular problem you’re embroiled in… This is the polar opposite of what happens in brainstorming sessions. Long showers, soaks in a tub, long walks, or doing chores are frequently when those “synapses” that find alternative solutions to a problem in new ways all hit together so that the big idea can spring.” This from an article in Fastcompany called Why Innovation By Brainstorming Doesn’t Work by Debra Kay.


I wonder about the situations Kay sites with regard to introversion and extraversion.  Introversion describes being inside our minds, when are quiet or reflecting or inwardly wondering; extraversion describes interacting with others and/or the world outside, possibly through talking or engaging with others. From a Myers Briggs Type Indicator® perspective, we all access these attitudes, inner and outer. We feel more energized using one more so than the other: the one that energizes is referred to as our preference.


I wonder if the quality of insight that comes from introverting varies much from those that arrive from the extraverting for people with preferences for extraversion than for people with preferences for introversion.  Do people make meaningful and different kinds of connections in the inner world than they do in the outer one?  Is it possible that the creation of new ideas is influenced by personality style preferences?


Is it possible that the one-size fits all approach to generating new ideas is archaic?  Is it possible that people of the different personality preferences need distinct rules of behaviour be a their best to generate new ideas and make new decisions?  I think so, and will be writing more about this as I review the Creativity and Personality Type: Tools for Understanding and Appreciating the Many Voices of Creativity, and converge on new thinking since writing it in 2001 in preparation for the pre-conference session with Danielle Poirier Getting Unstuck at the Association for Psychological Type International conference this July in Miami.


Ask: I could use your help. Please let me know your thoughts, feelings, inklings and experiences of personality style differences in generating new ideas and making new decisions; together we can create something wonderfully beneficial and useful. Even though I’ve led innovation training, creativity thinking and team building sessions for years, including designing corporate meetings that take into account the personality style differences I am still curious to know what doesn’t work for you when it comes to working with creating new ideas for innovation?

[box] Which one of the qualities in the pairs would be on your ‘not to do list’?
Alone, In a group; Need facts, Need fancy; Imagination rules, Reality dictates; Visual thinking, Verbal connections; Outdoor excursions, Seated at a workstation, what others…?[/box]


Creatiivity and Personality Type by Marci Segal® Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Myers Briggs, and MBTI are trademarks or registered trademarks of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Trust in the United States and other countries.





Marci Segal, MS, Creativity and Change Leadership; Freeing leaders’ thinking so they can create new futures.