New innovations, those non-obvious ideas or solutions that can create tremendous value, often come to us when we least expect them. Whatever happened to create that innovation probably started with something that disrupted our normal pattern of thinking: a customer said something, we saw something, we read something– and poof, hello innovation!
But waiting for inspiration to strike is an unreliable way to innovate. If you’re looking for new revenue streams or better and more innovative ways to compete, you must actually try to innovate. You must regularly disrupt your team’s normal pattern of thinking to uncover those non-obvious ideas that just might be transformational. The alternatives are ideas that are just slightly better than the status quo. And “slightly better” usually doesn’t create the value that we seek.
So, when it feels like you or your team are stuck in old patterns of thinking, try asking the following questions to unlock their brains to generate higher-value, non-obvious ideas:
- If new owners bought our company, what would they do about _______________?
- If all current [options, ideas, approaches, solutions] where taken off the table, what would we do instead?
- How would [Amazon, Tesla, IBM, etc.] solve this problem or take advantage of this opportunity?
- How might we __________________ in a way that __________________?
Intentionally shifting your perspective can have a powerful effect on idea generation. Give these questions a try this week and let me know how it goes!
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