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I am very privileged to work with a huge variety of corporations throughout North America, helping them develop big ideas for their businesses.

One of the questions I am regularly asked by clients deals with the perfect size for a brainstorming session … in other words … how many people should be in the room?

My answer is generally met with surprise! It’s not the total number of guests in a session … what matters most is the size of the teams.

Let’s say you have a group of 25 people. The creative magic really happens when you take those people and break them down into 5 teams of 5. Why? Most people (particularly when they are put in a situation of ‘being creative’) are really not comfortable ‘sharing’ in large groups for fear of being judged.

‘Small’ is huge when it comes to brainstorming, and here’s why:

  1. Sharing ideas and collaborating in a small group is more intimate, more fun, and less judgmental.
  2. Human beings are competitive by nature. When you create small teams there is always a tendency to compete with other teams to come up with amazing ideas. I NEVER try to set this in motion in a session … it just happens naturally because we are all competitive on some level.
  3. In small groups everyone contributes! In a large group, only 20% of the guests ever say anything!
  4. When you have 5 teams of 5 people each working on the same creative challenge, you get 5 times the number of great ideas!
  5. When each team presents their ideas to the larger group, they are proud of their work as a team. Creative ideas now belong to the team … rather than an individual!
  6. Small teams made of up guests that don’t normally work together or collaborate, create amazing human connections. One of the greatest by-products of small teams is the long-lasting effect of creating relationships within an organization!

Bottom line, whether you have 5, 25, or 250 people, small groups produce the most powerful results!

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