In the world of Marketing, ideas don’t always come from one person. Often times brainstorming sessions are done in a group setting to kick around thoughts and ideas with others. This can be a wonderful contribution to improving the workplace or launching a campaign. There is, however, something that brainstorm sessions need to be careful of, groupthink.


Google Dictionary defines Groupthink as –the practice of thinking or making decisions 

as a group in a way that discourages creativity or individual responsibility.”


Another way of looking at Groupthink is when a group of people make ineffective decisions just to come to a consensus rather than hearing out an unpopular or different opinion. For some situations, this could mean a bad campaign, for others, it could have dire consequences.


When it comes to making decisions by brainstorming ideas in the workplace, there is a way that you can try to avoid this phenomenon.


  1. Encourage everyone to participate – even if someone isn’t in the same department, an outside perspective could make a huge impact.
  2. Let disagreement be a staple – your brainstorming session should be a place for others to argue. Ideas and opinions should be challenged. Don’t let it get too aggressive but allow for healthy debate.
  3. Divide into smaller groups – smaller groups might come up with some great ideas and won’t be influenced by the majority. 
  4. Hire diverse people – people from different walks of life will have a different perspective. This is a wonderful contribution to ideas and can really help avoid groupthink.
  5. Don’t let a time frame dictate your solution – putting too much pressure on a group to come to a decision quickly can hurt the outcome because if you are forcing everyone to agree, it’s not a truly thought out solution. If there’s a time crunch, consider pushing back the decision when more people and diversity can be a part of the conversation.


Groupthink in the workplace could make a marketing campaign a dud or the design of a piece of equipment unfunctional. It’s important to hear all sides of the equation and let ideas really be hashed out. No matter what, differences of opinion and ideas can help you avoid groupthink and better yet, create amazing new ideas! Take these steps to avoid it in your future brainstorming sessions and you can let everyone’s ideas flow freely.


Photo by Dylan Gillis on Unsplash