“Instead of searching the world broadly, we are all kind of searching only in this little sphere,” Terwiesch says.

“In innovation, variance is your friend. You want wacky stuff because you can afford to reject it if you don’t like it. If you build on group norms, the group kills variance.”

 

To come up with the next iPad or Amazon, the pacesetters of the future need solitary brainstorming time, according to new Wharton research.

In a paper titled, “Idea Generation and the Quality of the Best Idea,” Wharton professors Christian Terwiesch and Karl Ulrich argue that group dynamics are the enemy of businesses trying to develop one-of-a-kind new products, unique ways to save money or distinctive marketing strategies.

Innovation and Group Dynamics