Great Answer! (Wrong Question)

Have you ever come up with the greatest solution in the world, but when you applied it to your problem, nothing changed?

It doesn’t matter how good your answers are when you’re asking the wrong questions. The reason we fall into the “Great Answer (Wrong Question)” trap so often is that we usually start brainstorming in the wrong place.

Most of us think of brainstorming as a way to generate ideas, answers,or solutions. But one of the principles of productive thinking is to brainstorm for questions before brainstorming for answers. We use creative thinking to generate questions that shine new light on your challenge – a very long list of them. Then we use critical thinking to select those questions that seem to have the most “juice” – that is, questions that offer the most potential for generating breakthrough solutions.

So the next time you have a problem to solve, first brainstorm the questions you need to answer, then brainstorm for answers. You’ll go much farther, and in the right direction, too.

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