The Power of Throwing Your Thinking in Reverse

August 4, 2017


Innovators have long used the trick of flipping a question around to gain insights from a new perspective.


The article "The Power of Anti-Goals" is a great example of the power of this simple trick -- in this case, applied to time management, work culture, and policies. A good, quick read, with a powerful and simple little tool.


The idea is this: instead of thinking about what you could or should do, approach the problem form what can't or shouldn't be done. Instead of thinking about the positives you want to provide, think instead about the negatives you want to avoid.


For example, say you are making a remote control for a TV. Focusing on the things you want to provide is what yields a remote with 47 buttons and impossibly small print to know what any of those buttons really do. Focus instead on what you don't want -- making the remote a frustrating nightmare to use -- and you may just create one that doesn't either terrify or anger the TV owner.


Give it a try -- you may just find it to be a path toward new and better insights.

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