There is a secret technique to becoming more innovative. It’s a technique that, should you learn to apply it, has the potential to yield powerful results in every area of your life. Are you ready?
Ask more questions.
This is the secret hidden in plain site, and while it may appear oversimplified, I believe your ability to ask questions determines you and your company’s ability innovate. Powerful questions produce powerful results.
For a moment, think of the product or person that you feel is the epitome of innovation. Now, think of the types of questions they would ask themselves to create something. I promise you there is a direct correlation between the level of the questions they ask and the level of the answers they uncover.
The thing about being innovative is that you have to ask yourself scary, big and ridiculous questions. Since Safe doesn’t make it to Scary, Normal doesn’t understand Big and Average doesn’t entertain the idea of Ridiculous, you should try all of them. While others refuse to go the distance and risk asking foolish questions, you should ask yourself as many questions as you can and get through the dirt until you uncover some gold.
Good questions are hidden on the other side of our ego.
The secret to being innovative exists in relentlessly asking questions about what “could be”, using uncomfortable questions that live on the side of crazy and daring.
- What if cars could be electric?
- What if we could live on Mars? Could we get people to Mars? How sustainable is it?
- How could I be more loving?
- What if we could fly? How far could someone fly? Could we get someone to fly 5, 10, 100 feet? If so, could they eventually fly longer?
- Who is someone I should befriend?
- What is one thing I could do today to improve my relationship or marriage?
- Why do I wake up every morning?
- What is something that no one else has done yet on the internet? Is there something after the internet?
- What could I do that no one else can do?
- How can I change my career?
- What if I never went to the mall again?
- How would I live without a car? Could I? How much money would I save?
- What if I could request a taxi from my phone?
- What if I could pay a person to stay at their house instead of a hotel?
- How could I live a life that couldn’t get any better?
- What if we could replace the need for paper money or coins?
Although these questions above are random they are meant to show you that it takes a lot of questions to filter the good from the bad. It takes a long list of questions on a subject to truly become innovative and uncover a question that needs an answer. It takes failing fast and narrowing down, to arrive at something that has the potential to be innovative and awesome.
Lastly, get out a paper and pencil and jot down things in your life you would like to see grow, change and improve. Then write down questions, little to big, about how those things could change. Go from realistic to unrealistic and ask yourself why certain ideas are unrealistic to you. Then ask, “How could I make these realistic?”.
Every innovation starts with the right question.
To find the right question, ask more of them. The more you ask, the closer you will get.