Ask very silly questions to spur very serious innovation.
- To get really innovative solutions to complex problems, you need to abandon logic, says Dan Seewald.
- Asking provocative and ridiculous 'what if?' questions pushes us down lateral paths of thinking versus the vertical or logical path. The latter approach is practical but it doesn't break new ground.
- Breaking with tradition through lateral thinking allows us to solve really serious problems, from climate change to political turmoil. Or, as Dan Seewald explains, it could just help you solve all your laundry headaches.
Don't underestimate the power of play when it comes to problem-solving.
- As we get older, the work we consistently do builds "rivers of thinking." These give us a rich knowledge of a certain kind of area.
- The problem with this, however, is that as those patterns get deeper, we get locked into them. When this happens it becomes a challenge to think differently — to break from the past and generate new ideas.
- How do we get out of this rut? One way is to bring play and game mechanics into workshops. When we approach problem-solving from a perspective of fun, we lose our fear of failure, allowing us to think boldly and overcome built patterns.
Dan Seewald is the Founder and CEO at Deliberate Innovation and designer of the Deliberate Innovation System™, which combines rigorous innovation techniques with the inspirational practices used in coaching high-performance athletes.
He did his graduate studies at New York University in political economy and entrepreneurship and has a B.S. in Accounting from the College of New Jersey.