Great ideas come from good questions. It’s remarkable how many projects start out on an ill-formed premise—a bad question. Naturally, this means that starting by evaluating the question being asked—that is, the foundation of the desire for change—is the single most important step that you can take.
How might we… is a great tool for doing this. It reframes the premise in such a way that you are forced to evaluate the underlying assumptions. For example, if we’re looking for innovative ideas, instead of asking, “We need to update our find us page on the website” the question, “How might we help potential visitors find us, given that they don’t have much time and we’er located on a one way street?” is much more constructive.
- How implies that we are open to possibilities.
- Might implies that there are many possibilities out there that are worth exploring.
- We implies a collaborative effort, where each person’s input is valuable.
- Given that… forces us to look for the true nature of the problem to be solved—insights about what’s really going on.