Which question brings more thoughts to mind:
- How might Elon Musk succeed in making X the ‘everything app’?
- How might Elon Musk fail in making X the ‘everything app’?
In this scenario, the second question has infinitely more answers. There are simply a lot more ways in which X could fail than succeed. Those negative answers can then be reversed to generate positive actions.
Similarly, by asking “How might we make this worse?” rather than “How might we make this better?” we will gain insights we may not have otherwise. Also, the list of ideas we draw up will be the opposite of what we might do.
The questioning technique plays into many people’s natural ability to see more problems than solutions and, by specifically asking people to criticise, offers a safe space in which to do so. This might be particularly important in environments in which team members find it difficult to challenge dominant figures or ideas.
> See how it works!