Here are some ways an effective N-of-8 session goes beyond brainstorming.
Brainstorming produces "flashes of insight" from your team, but N-of-8 provide a method to capture and build upon them. Those unique little thought-germs that have the potential need to be expanded into full-blown concepts or initiatives that really make a difference.
Brainstorming is often just another meeting, a scheduled time slot during which people sit robotically ticking off ideas like agenda items. Conversely, N-of-8 can function as a community for thinking and a change laboratory. It can connect individuals and their ideas in a supportive thinking environment.
Brainstorming often becomes a competition for who can throw out the most ideas or even the craziest ideas. During an N-of-8, participants are rewarded for building upon each other’s thoughts, instead of competing with them.
(Click on the photo above to enlarge the table.)