Want to generate creative ideas? Organize a face to face gathering. This is considerably more effective than a video conference or a telephone meeting. As seen in a scientific study conducted by the IMEX Group and the Meetology Group.
The investigators divided the tests into three groups. One group gathered face to face, a 2nd group via video connection and a 3rd over the telephone. Not only did the first group come up with 30% more ideas than the virtual pairs, the ideas were also more diverse and of a higher quality. The face to face gatherings, with regard to amount, also had the most ideas: 29. That is 50% more than the telephone meetings and even 70% more than the video conferences.
A striking result if you know that the participants in the study did not always know each other beforehand. They sometimes also even spoke a different language. Still the experiment is very valuable to understand which factors influence 'idea generating' and 'creative problem solving'. The above skills are after all indispensable if you wish to be successful as organization.
The results prove what we have thought for a long time. Namely: if you as organization have a need for fresh, new ideas, the best idea is to physically introduce your employees, stakeholders or clients to each other in one space. This method is measurably more effective than virtual meetings. This does not mean that the other methods are not handy. But, if creativity or innovation is the objective of your meeting, face to face cooperation is the most effective and productive way to go.
Download the entire research paper.