Mythbuster: Brain drain

Les Binet and Sarah Carter

Les Binet and Sarah Carter of DDB get a little bit angry about some of the nonsense they hear around them... like the idea that brairnstorming works

You may not have heard of Alex Osborn, one of the 1950s Mad Men. But you will almost certainly have taken part in something which he has bequeathed to the world of marketing and advertising. For it is Mr Osborn who is attributed with originating the business use of the term and technique of 'brainstorming'.

Frustrated by the way typical group decision-making processes, in his opinion, tended to inhibit, rather than encourage creative thinking, he argued that this new technique increased both the quality and quantity of ideas generated. With its 'rules' of no censoring of ideas, quantity over quality and an informal, fun atmosphere, the brainstorm was supposed to unleash the creative in all of us. Many Post-it notes and hours holed up in hotel conference rooms later, the technique lives on today in one guise or another.