Different Thinking – Part 1

It’s interesting how much you can gain from just a slight change in perspective.

The innovators are those who have better insights than their peers, ranging from slight improvements to game-changing realisations.

As an NLPer and therefore a modeler, I’m always curious where excellence comes from. Now, I know there are some extraordinary elements in each of us, but this is not what I’m talking about here.

I’m talking about a very small number of people who are in a league of their own when it comes to innovation and creativity. How do they think in ways that make them so different from the rest of us?

Careful analysis reveals three crucial factors:

1. they ask better questions

Has anyone ever asked you a question that seemed so obvious, so simple that you wondered why you had never thought to ask it yourself?

This is a prime characteristic of true creativity. We tend to find answers by asking ourselves questions, yet there is a crucial flaw in this method.

Questions tend to apply limits to where we can look for answers.

How does this happen? Think about it for a minute and you’ll realise that every question creates a kind of focus. This is useful and necessary, yet everything outside that focus tends to become blurry and somehow less significant. To illustrate, compare these two questions:

  • where is this broken?
  • how can I fix this?

The difference may seem subtle, yet the results will vary slightly. Now compare these:

  • how can I fix this?
  • how can I improve this?

The difference between the two questions is equally subtle, yet the result of each will vary immensely. “How can I improve this?” is simply a better question because the scope it creates for the solution allows a more useful result.

Start thinking about the questions you ask yourself every day and experiment with better alternatives.

End of part 1 – any questions or comments?

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