One example that I describe in “Why Didn’t I Think of That,” my first book, tells the story of the Big Black and White Company. They have time-honored traditions, doing things the way they’ve always done them. And then there’s another company that enters the scene, this one called the Color Company, and they’re filled with fresh ideas and innovation. The Big Black and White Company is stymied.
The purpose of that book is to both look at items that get in the way of our creativity and items that help it — such as deferring judgement and asking creative questions — as part of 10 methods that help people become more innovative.
As I discussed in an episode of “Get Down To Business” with Shalom Klein, asking questions that contain “what might” or “how to” phrases will spark the process of figuring out what the problem is.
“Just phrasing a question in that way changes the whole energy, and it sends a message to the brain that says, ‘Go search for those ideas’ … It diffuses difficult conversations. It lowers judgement.”