One of the foundation blocks of creative problem solving, is understanding that in order to find great answers, we need to ask ourselves great questions.
Here’s an example of a very well known, yet extremely poor quality question:
Is the glass half full or half empty?
- The question restricts your options. It’s an example of a “this or that” question, which presupposes there are just 2 possible answers. When looking for the best answer, we need to remove such limitations and think freely.
- The question suggests what the 2 answers are; either half full or half empty. This allows little room for creative problem solving.
Explore all relevant possibilities
If you were presented with a photo of that glass of water and simply asked, ‘what can you see?’, you would have limitless possible answers to choose from.
You may even say that the glass is 100% full: 50% filled with water and 50% filled with air.
When seeking to find a creative solution, we need to focus on all relevant information and then allow ourselves the freedom to play with many different answers. As I mentioned recently, we also need to question common knowledge, to ensure we are not missing out on sources of potential answers.