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Obstructionists—To them, nothing is simple or easy. They overcomplicate conversations and procedures, and bring up extraneous facts or considerations that derail the flow of the group.

Ward off such evil influences! When considering whom to invite to your brainstorm, seek out individuals who possess a positive, can-do attitude and collaborative nature.

5. Carnage in the idea selection process. How easily can your group identify and agree upon a breakthrough idea when it sees one?

“Believe it or not, in many organizations, it’s not as simple and straightforward as it may seem,” says Rigie. “If a group fails to predetermine what criteria define a good idea before it’s time to evaluate those ideas, the selection process can devolve into a messy, combative contest where promising ideas live or die based on the subjective assertions of dominating personalities, or the thumbs-up/thumbs-down whims of executive privilege.”

To avoid this type of mayhem, Rigie and Harmeyer suggest predetermining a set of selection criteria—those specific characteristics, attributes or benefits a winning idea must possess in order to successfully address the challenge at hand.

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