Retrain Your Brain for Innovative Thinking

Who doesn’t need to be an innovative thinker? You? Okay, stop reading.


Everyone else rally around. Becoming better at innovation can be accomplished by one very simple thing: Change the way you ask questions. All the time. Every day. About everything. To everyone. Questions that elicit a fact are fine. Questions that elicit a story are better, and spark powerful insight after insight, both in your day-to-day life and when you’re spending time with consumers.


Okay Question: How’s the soup?

Factual Answer: Very good.


Provocative Question: If your grandmother had made this soup, would it be worthy of her?

Story as Answer: Well, one grandmother was Polish so I’d hate to compare this to borscht but I can say that this is worthy of my French grandma, since she had great taste in food.



Okay Question: What did you think of that new restaurant?

Factual Answer: Oh, it was good, but a little crowded.


Provocative Question: Did that restaurant get you to try a dish you never had before?

Story as Answer: Funny you ask—I had never had pork belly but the way it was described on the menu made it seem unscary.



Okay Question: How would you make this product better?

Factual Answer: Add more cheese.


Provocative Question: If you were to make this type of product at home, what would you do differently?

Story as Answer: I’d let it bake longer to make it crispier, and I love the golden brown color because it makes it seem sun-kissed.




One more example before we bid adieu.


Okay Question: Did you like this blog post?

Provocative Question: How will you implement this in your life?