I’ve been reading a book the past few days called Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a world that can’t stop talking. I know, I know… it sounds like a self-help situation, but really being introspective is a powerful tool and nothing to be ashamed of… and, well… I have something to confess. My name is Marta and I’m an introvert. There! I said it.
Quiet provides a look at how extroverts differ from introverts and how, while both types provide equal amounts of creativity, extroverts seem to be the most likely place one might look for exciting, new ideas — and how they are usually the ones that get their ideas executed. Why? Because in our culture there is a disproportionately high value placed on those that speak first, and those that speak with the most enthusiasm. In fact, the quiet types are usually thought to be less intelligent by both extroverts AND introverts. I’m certainly guilty of jumping to that conclusion myself.
So what does the title of this post mean? It’s about is corporate America’s tendency to have too many meetings and/or brainstorms as a means to generate quality ideas (no kidding!). While brainstorms may generate some ideas worth pursuing, working in solitude is also a valuable way to promote creativity and should not be overlooked. Alone, an individual can focus on thinking through an idea completely rather than it’s potential being ended prematurely by the judgement of their peers. I think this alternative work style would benefit everyone — the loud and the soft-spoken– if put in to practice even a quarter of the time, by shaking up the expected and inviting a new way of thinking (new ideas).
So, I challenge you (management) to cancel your next meeting in favor of solitary brainstorming — and for God’s sake, don’t reschedule it!