Brainstorming Tools For Innovation - Open Ended Questions

Brainstorming tools - it's in the questions you ask.

Hey Tamara here. I was working on a new innovation when this question came in and I thought it was so relevant to what I was even working on, that I had to take a break, come outside on this beautiful day and answer it. So the question I got in was:

If innovation starts in the questions, which is a hundred percent true, how do I know what the right questions are to ask?

That is so great. The mistake I often see people make is they asked, first of all, the same questions over and over and over again and they can't figure out why they get to innovation. So I've got two tips for you.


Number one, make sure your questions are open-ended. Often times what happens is people ask yes or no questions. Do you like it or not like it? You force people into an up-or-down vote. So you might ask, you know, do you like it? Do you hate it? Would you buy this kind of blank, right? There's no depth, there's no why behind it. Instead I want you to think about your questions always being open-ended.

What makes you like this?

Why don't you like this?

What would make you want to purchase this?

Do you see the difference? When I ask you an open-ended question, you will dig deep, the wheels start to turn and those answers will have so much richness to them, that's number one. The second part that I want you to think of when it comes to questions is, ask questions that go down a different path. Remember I said in the beginning we ask the same questions over and over again? So this time I want you to start asking questions that you maybe wouldn't normally ask.

What would happen if we didn't solve this problem?

What would happen if we did the opposite of what we normally do?

Those questions will force you down a different path because you're starting from a different place. Those are good questions.

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