In my problem-solving model which I outlined in my first book (The Idea Generator, 2007), I outlined how many leaders get ‘stuck’ in their thinking (and action).
My contention is that if you always define a problem in the same way and you view it in the same way, not surprisingly you end up with the same result.
Leaders then fall into the trap of conducting more research and analysis whilst still defining and viewing the problem in the usual way (e.g. how can we improve our customer satisfaction scores?).
You need to break the dominant pattern.
This is exactly the situation i found myself in when i was facilitating a group of leaders last week.
The leadership group was from a consumer good firms that has 5 distinct business units (each with a separate P&L).
Revenue growth had stalled so I suggested a new approach.
What if, we started asking ourselves some different questions?
Rather than trying to grow the revenue of each different business unit independently we tried to grow the revenue of the entire group?
So we posed a new question — What are some growth ideas that benefit at least two business units?
This led to a huge burst of creativity.
Leaders suddenly could think of what might benefit the total group.
They had to consider the market-place and consumers and what they (as a group) were good at.
In short, this new question helped to unlock their creativity.
What is a new, original question you can ask your team?