I just finished up Adam Grant’s book Originals (see his website at adamgrant.net) and really like one of the examples he shared for for generating more, original ideas with your team: Kill the Company.
In short, if you want to generate some excitement and energetic thinking, don’t ask your team to envision the future from within, ask them to imagine what your competitor would do, with unlimited funds and opportunity, to kill your company.
There are a lot of factors in play here, and it’s worth reading the book if you want a more complete understanding. It’s an interesting twist though, because it engages our imagination in a different way. It’s hard to imagine the future from what you already know. If you own a car company, and you want to do better, your default is to start with a car. If you want to kill the car company, you begin thinking differently: Driverless? Subscription service instead of ownership? Drone delivery? Bike pods?
How are you going to defeat those competitors who’re out to kill your company?
Take a moment to imagine this from within your organization.
How would someone pinpoint your weaknesses? Overcome them? Do things differently and better?
I’d love to hear if you’ve tried this in your organization and whether it was successful?