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A very simple tip for better brainstorming

A very simple tip for better brainstorming

Prospecting on your own or with others is often difficult. (Photo: Per Lööv for Unsplash)

Damn job! The section where Olivier Schmucker answers your most interesting questions [et les plus pertinentes] About the modern business world… and of course its shortcomings. Appointment to read Tuesday And the Thursday. Would you like to participate? Send us your question to [email protected]

Q: “It's disappointing. The few times we've had brainstorming sessions as a team, they haven't yielded convincing results. We always felt like we wasted our time. So how can we find new ideas? – Megan

A: Dear Megan, If this reassures you, know that it is not uncommon to see participants in a brainstorming session (Brainstorming, In English) he comes out frustrated, frustrated, frustrated. Thus they were hoping to discover an absolutely wonderful idea, coming from Mars or Venus, and they found themselves, after all these hours of intense brain work, with only a handful of random ideas, at best far-fetched, which might be impossible for them. To apply it in real life.

what the subject is about? Various studies have revealed that two recurring phenomena significantly harm the performance of brainstorming sessions.

– Obstructing the production of ideas. People usually take turns speaking in a group discussion, so some have to be silent for a while until everyone has finished discussing one point or another. a result? Interesting ideas are often silenced, even forgotten because those who had them in mind replaced them with others, and the discussion developed in a completely different direction. Incidentally, this is enough to kill ideas that could have made a big difference in the end.

– Social inhibition. Because of shyness, or even fear of negative judgment by others, participants in a brainstorming session tend to censor themselves. They don't express the ideas that come to their mind, without realizing that they will surely allow others to jump on them and come up with a purely brilliant idea.

Even if you don't provide me with any details about organizing your brainstorming sessions, Megan, I'm convinced that at least one of these two factors is detrimental to your brainstorming sessions as a team. This results in ideas that are not innovative and realistic enough to suit your taste.

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Now, how can we overcome these two obstacles? There is a possibility that there will be a lot of information for this, that I discovered in a recent pilot study by Sebastian Bouschery, an intelligence expert (IA) consultant at the University of Aix-la-Chapelle, In Germany. With Frank Piller, professor of economics at the same university, and Vera Blazevic, professor of marketing at Radboud University in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, he asked whether using artificial intelligence during a brainstorming session might lead to better results than usual, or whether it might lead to better results than usual. . Maybe not. Well, what the three researchers discovered should apparently blow your mind, Megan.

Sebastien Boucherie and his team formed 42 groups of four volunteers to ask them to work on different innovative projects, with the aim of collecting as many new ideas as possible and generating as many creative ideas as possible. Not all of these groups were placed in the same working conditions.

– Individual groups. Each of these groups was invited to sit in an isolated room, and each member was asked to work alone, without interacting with others. Once everyone had made a list of all their new ideas and identified the ones that seemed most creative to them, a lottery was held to determine which of these ideas would be kept for discussion in the group. At the end of this discussion, the group had to present to the researchers a final list of their highly creative ideas.

– Interactive groups. Each of these groups was invited to sit in an isolated room, and each member was asked to work alone, without interacting with others. Once everyone had made a list of all their new ideas and identified the ones that seemed most creative to them, each person's best ideas were discussed by the group in order to extract the cream of the crop.

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– Hybrid groups. Again, each member of these groups had to work on their own before sharing their best ideas with others. But there, everyone had a special tool at their disposal: a computer equipped with artificial intelligence. All you have to do is click on the “Create Idea” icon to get a new idea generated by artificial intelligence. Each click generated only one idea; Everyone can click on the icon as many times as they want. It was then up to everyone to sort out the best ideas from their final list. Next, the group had to discuss to determine the best crop together.

Finally, a fourth “group” was formed by the researchers, and it was an unusual group: it was made up only of artificial intelligence, without any humans. Her mission: to come up with the best ideas herself.

results? They are clear and clear:

The hybrid groups outperformed the individual and interactive groups in terms of the number of new ideas and the number of creative ideas.

– AI alone outperformed hybrid groups in the number of highly creative ideas.

In other words, to improve the effectiveness of a brainstorming session, the team would benefit every bit from adding an additional member, namely artificial intelligence. Because this will allow him to come up with more ideas and highlight more creative ideas than usual. If the group truly intends to identify highly innovative ideas, such as “inventing the century,” it must know how to show humility, let the AI ​​work on its own and accept one or more as strokes of genius. The “astonishing” ideas it produces are as surprising and destabilizing as they are. It's the same for the rest of us, the poor humans.

good. This is all well and good, you're probably thinking, Megan, but how can you actually use AI during your next brainstorming session? Here's how Sébastien Boucherie and his team did it.

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– They used OpenAI's GPT3 generative AI, which is free to use and available to everyone.

– They trained it briefly on brainstorming before participants could use it. That means they've just given him the central question that humans will work on as well as four interesting potential answers.

FYI, here's what it's all about in this case.

The central question was: “How can we help young people make saving a lifelong habit?”

The four answers were:

1. Allow the user to share these objects with other people and dispose of a community of people who encourage their efforts in their economic efforts, or if the network is connected to the provider. If necessary.

2. Reward the user with a financial reward if he spends no money at all for a month.

3. Allow the user to set up “Fun Budgets” (“Triggers”) intended to encourage them to save more money. For example, every time he pays for a purchase online or using his cell phone, a digital window appears and asks him if he would like to take the opportunity to invest $5 in his savings.

4. In the same vein, show the user how much money they could save over the course of a year if they decided to forgo buying a coffee every time they bought one, or other purchases like a new pair of sneakers.

With this data alone, generative AI has been able to enhance and even exceed the creativity of humans when asked to work alone, without any human intervention.

There you go, Megan. The ultimate thing couldn't be simpler. Get a generative AI like GPT3, warm it up before a brainstorming session, and then invite each participant to use it as they please. I would be very surprised if your team couldn't go from great idea to great idea.

In passing, the French humorist Sime liked to say in a deadpan manner: “Imagination places long dresses on our short ideas.”