How to Innovate
Jeffrey Dyer, Hal Gregersen and Clayton Christensen wrote a great article called “How to Innovate” (HBR 12/2009 – R0912E). In the article they describe how sessions designed to discuss new innovation opportunities often get stuck because people sometimes cannot get past the thought of all the existing constraints in order to do something new.
I got a kick out of the exercise that was mentioned in the article. Ask your team: What if we were going to be legally prohibited from selling to our current customers? How would we make money next year?
The idea of asking hypothetical questions that remove the constraints is a clever way to look beyond your current offerings to see what other opportunities are available.