To really think creatively, our brain needs to be fed quality questions.
The story goes that Albert Einstein’s mom used to ask him everyday: What good question did you ask today?
A good quote from Albert Einstein goes like this:
Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.
What you ask is crucial for your business and your life. When you ask your brain, it will give you an answer and whether your answer will be good or not often depends on your question.
If I ask, what is 1+1 there is only one answer, however if I ask what is ?+?=2 the possibilities are endless: 0.25 + 1.75 and 0.5 + 1.5 and so fourth.
In the book Thinkertoys, the author Michael Michalko talks about a food producer in France that asked himself: “How can I develop a unique product?” His brain did not come up with great answers.
However, when he asked: “How can I change a product into something surprising?” his brain brought up eggs and that he could reshape them to be surprising. The product was square shaped eggs that people could microwave and it was a successful product.
By rephrasing your questions (switching words) you can ask yourself better questions and by doing so stimulate great ideas.
The main thing is to be aware of your questions and rephrase them for more ideas.
What good question can you ask yourself right now?
What questions have you been asking? How can you rephrase those questions?
When faced with a problem or at your next meeting, try beginning with a few minutes of question-storming about the problem you want to solve.
Photo credit: QuotesEverlasting (flickr, CC BY 2.0)