Independent thinking is also crucial when making decisions. Sure enough, nearly 80% of creative professionals in WeTransfer’s poll say they trust their own instincts and research when evaluating an idea. Only 18% will run an idea past colleagues and friends.

In polling creatives around the world, WeTransfer surfaced some fascinating geographic outliers. For instance, when it comes to the biggest distractions to thinking about ideas, the French are more likely to blame their social life than their jobs, their partners, or social media. The Chinese, meanwhile, are more prone to point the finger at their partners.

Though the growing body of evidence suggests brainstorming may not result in the best ideas, it isn’t entirely useless. A Northern Illinois University study published in the Journal Communication Reports underscores its value as a team-building activity rather than a tactical meeting. If nothing else, practicing tacit rules of brainstorming—positivity, openness, building on other’s ideas—promotes team cohesion and trust.

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