When does brainstorming fail?

Without clear goals and some guidance by the host brainstorming can devolve into chaos, groupthink or a conversation dominated by the few. Setting clear goals for your brainstorm session helps make sure that the creative output is genuine and complements a larger goal, even if it does not serve as input to the larger project.

For big company decisions, or policies that might disadvantage one group in favor of another, a quick brainstorm session can lead to a bad outcome.

Brainstorming is best for those lingering, medium-sized problems that have already hung around longer than they should.