Attitude

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Sometimes I watch these stupid recorded classroom lectures at Stanford University, aired on Japan’s NHK US channel. They really are silly, although I can see the attraction. The classes focus on abstract things like happiness, problem-solving, or unconventional brainstorming exercises (which at the end of the day are still brainstorming exercises if you ask me, for it doesn’t matter if you switch out a poster-size pad of post-its for a folding screen of dry erase boards attached to the wall, arranged in small stations for groups to gather around, forcing people to stand throughout the exercise vs. sit—it doesn’t change the experience,¬†which for many students, will continue long after their college days in an artificially lit, windowless office where management will oddly continue to hail brainstorming sessions as innovative and creative when in reality, 90 percent of the time they will be a complete waste of time. Trust me, I’ve participated in plenty of brainstorming sessions, including a few rare ones that were actually very productive, and at the end of the day, it’s not the tools or the layout of the brainstorming experience or whether you are sitting or standing that creates results—it’s the people participating that make the difference and the quality of their input, not the volume. Having all these ingredients in place is actually quite rare, if you ask me, and for this reason, I find the majority of brainstorming sessions a complete waste of time). Continue reading