When we have an idea, one of the first things we ask ourselves is “But what if it doesn’t work?”
How many times does this prevent us from trying something new? How often do we accept the status quo even though we think there has to be a better way?
It’s OK to consider what might happen if an idea doesn’t work as long as we ask two other important questions:
“What if it does work?”
“What do we stand to lose by sticking with the current way of doing things?”
We subconsciously fight change. Our self-doubt and negative inner thoughts prevent us from proposing or implementing new ideas. We avoid or ignore problems and make irrational rationalizations like “That’s not my responsibility.”
Whether you are a team member, middle manager or senior leader, you owe it to yourself and your organization to focus on creative solutions that improve your customer experience, operational processes and overall bottom line.
You have to do your part to foster an environment of creativity and innovation. Challenge assumptions. Offer solutions rather than just pointing out problems. Ask questions of peers, bosses, subordinates and customers. Actively listen and think about what you hear.
Try following the 5 W’s Technique used by journalists, police officers and market researchers. Ask and answer: Who? What? Where? When? Why?
*Who do you want to reach and influence? Clearly define your target markets. Learn how they think. What makes them tick? Why do they say both “yes” and “no?”
*What are you selling? Not just the mission statement or website copy points. What are you really selling?
*Where do we have a competitive advantage? What makes us different? Why do they want and need us?
*When can we maximize our opportunities? When do they (your target audiences) want and need the solution?
*Why aren’t we making it happen?
Instead of convincing yourself a new idea might not work, ask the 5 W’s. The answers will lead to creative solutions that enhance your customer experience.