Brainstorming is an effective tool, but experienced brainstorming leaders will tell you that it is very difficult to get people to stop evaluating ideas as they are generated. That's one of the keys, since evaluation ruins the initial process. Also:
- The process can often result in a number of very impractical ideas, which is both a strength but can also be a weakness if time is an issue.
- During the evaluation phase (after initial idea generation), ideas are criticized, and some people may become defensive or frustrated, even angry.
- Some people (as with almost all instructional techniques) may not like brainstorming or see it as a waste of time.
- Brainstorming can be somewhat chaotic, which need not be problematic, but for some it can be seen as too hectic and unorganized.
Of course, how the group leader or trainer introduces the process is critical, and if it's presented properly, and is done quickly so it doesn't drag, most disadvantages or potential problems can be reduced or eliminated.