Today I read a post called The Planes of Tomorrow on the Think Like a Beginner blog. The post talks about NASA inviting major aircraft manufacturers to submit designs for the future.
According to the post NASA asked that “[E]ach design has to fly up to 85 percent of the speed of sound; cover a range of approximately 7,000 miles; and carry between 50,000 and 100,000 pounds of payload, either passengers or cargo.”
Obviously this blog isn’t about the future of air travel, and none of the submitting companies are clients of ours (yet). Still, this post caught my attention and reminded me of a very important point.
Meeting the criteria laid out by NASA would require thinking quite different from the thinking that leads to the planes of today.
Solving our business problems, making leaps in productivity, Customer Service, product development (or anything else), requires the same shift.
It isn’t about “thinking outside of the box.” It is about removing the box completely.
The best part of the short post I referred you to is the pictures of the initial designs. Please take a look at all three – here is just one.
Looking at this changes your thinking a bit doesn’t it?
Here is a simple creative exercise to use personally or before you next team creative challenge.
Show the team the three pictures in the post as a stimulus to new thinking. Talk about how normal thinking will get normal results, and challenge people to go further.
The power of this exercise – if you believe that it will work and show it in your words, actions and body language will be – will amaze you.
Warning – don’t take this approach if you aren’t ready for the possibility of big ideas, new ideas, and bold ideas. If you don’t really want these, it isn’t a problem. You can just keep doing what you are doing now.
If you take my challenge, whether you use these pictures or some other stimulus, let me know in the comments how it goes!