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A Better Way to Brainstorm

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Why Use Candor

Candor helps groups generate ideas & make difficult decisions.

A Few Companies Using Candor:

Produce more ideas

Candor generates more diverse or creative ideas because people don’t get fixated on the first idea that’s put on the table, avoiding the problems of idea anchoring and clustering.

In traditional brainstorming, the first idea put on the table often becomes a point of fixation.

Avoid Bias

People’s candid, unbiased views come to light because they generate ideas free of social pressure. Reviewing all the ideas at the beginning of the meeting gives everyone a voice, maximizing the creative potential in the room.

In traditional brainstorming, when a majority of the room supports an idea, people with different points-of-view rarely speak up.

Save Time

Candor is extremely efficient, so you can spend less time in meetings and more time getting things done. Because this is far more efficient process, a lot more ideas are put on the table.

In traditional brainstorming, ideas are generated sequentially — a team might spend 10 minutes discussing the first idea before turning to the second.


Candor works by decoupling the generation of ideas from the evaluation of ideas.

This means that people generate ideas privately at the beginning of the meeting, before they learn the opinions of the other people in the room. The team then reviews all the ideas generated before evaluating them.

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Before the Meeting

  • 1. Invite Your Team.
    Send your question or problem to the members of your brainstorming team.
  • 2. Generate Ideas Privately.
    Ask people to generate ideas before the meeting begins or devote the first 5 minutes of the meeting to generating ideas privately.
  • 3. Collect Submissions.
    Have each individual submit his or her ideas to the session organizer through Candor. Graphic share

During the Meeting

  • 4. Put all the Ideas on the Table.
    Use the Candor web app to project all the cards.

    Have each person briefly describe all the ideas they generated. It’s critical that at this stage people aren't evaluating ideas, they are simply hearing all the ideas.
  • 5. Discuss all the ideas.
    Now open up the discussion — eliminate ideas that don't stand up to scrutiny, modify existing ideas to make them better, cluster ideas into different categorizes, and add new ideas that emerge during the discussion.
  • 6. Vote on the ideas.
    Use Candor to vote on the ideas. If a clear winner emerges, you can stop there. If a few ideas have strong support, you can now focus your discussion on the most popular ideas before voting again. Graphic liked
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Start brainstorming with Candor today.

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This was his idea.

Loran Nordgren is a professor at the Kellogg School of Management. He conducts original research, teaches, and consults on innovation, decision-making, and organizational performance. If you’re interested in learning more about Loran, his research, or anything related to Candor, feel free to reach out.

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