“Arrgh!! Are we dreaming big enough?”
This is how the CEO announced his presence in my office.
“Pardon?” I said.
“We think we have big ideas, but what if we’re not dreaming big enough?”
That got me to thinking. How do you know if you’ve successfully gotten out of boxed-in thinking? How do we know for sure we’re thinking “outside the box?”
We can’t. I’m certain this is a fact. There is no way we can get outside all mental boxes. The good news is that simply by knowing we are stuck in a box means that we can make the effort required to dream bigger than yesterday.
In a serious planning meeting blurt out something patently absurd. Hopefully everyone will laugh.
One brainstorming exercise I have found useful is joking. In a serious planning meeting blurt out something patently absurd. Hopefully everyone will laugh. If you’re surrounded by really smart people* with a sense of humor** and a desire to dream big, at least one of them will say, “Wait, that’s not a bad idea…” and will offer up an improvement on it. And away we go, with our big dreams.
Another method I use is to question everything. While observing people struggle with answering interview riddles it becomes obvious that being smart isn’t as much about knowing the right answers as it is about asking the right questions. This is a topic for another blog post though so I’ll leave it for now.
* why would you spend your invaluable time with not-smart people?
** life is too short to be with grouchy people – get out if you are!