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Ask the Scary Question

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Do you want to REALLY spark your innovation in a way that moves the needle professionally? Then you and your team need to ask the scary question!

If you're a video person, I lay it all out in the video below. If reading is more your thing, skip the video and hop straight to the transcript below!

Hey everybody, Bill Stainton here with Turning Creativity into Money™, and you know what I want to know? When was the last time you and your team asked "the scary question"?

See, if you want to come up with, come up with innovative ideas that are really going to move the needle for you and your team in your work, in your business, in your industry, you need to ask the scary question. Okay now, what's the scary question? Well, here it is.


First of all, think of your closest competitor. Okay, you got them? All right, here's the question: What could my closest competitor do, what's the one thing my closest competitor could do, that if I were to read about it first thing tomorrow morning it would seriously ruin my day? Maybe even my week, my month, or my year. What's the one thing my competitor could do that if I heard about it, I would go, "Oh no!" Or, possibly, some stronger version of "Oh no!"

What's the one thing they could do that would be so groundbreaking, so disrupting, that you would feel like you've immediately fallen behind. You've fallen below the curve, you know what I mean?

Isn't that a great question to ask your team? A great question for you and your team to play with for an hour, or a half a day, or something.

So, I want you to, I want you to think about that this week. Think about playing with that question with your team. Because obviously the answer to the question—I mean, I don't know what the specific answer is—but here's what you do with it, when you start coming up with those ideas.

And again the thing is, what is the one thing the com, the competition could do—don't ask for a lot of things; you'll come up with a lot of ideas—but focus on, what's the one.

Because that that forces you to think like what's the ultimate, what's, what's the thing that would make the most difference in the industry, that would move the needle the most, where all of a sudden, we'd have to be playing catch-up. So what's that one thing?

And then, of course, how can you do it?

How can you get there first?

So it's, it's the difference between proactive and reactive. Most of us live our lives in reactive mode—something happens and we react to it. Something happens, we react to it. The competition does something, we react to it. The marketplace does something, we react to it. A pandemic happens, we react to it.

But what if you could be proactive? What if you could be the one leading that change? What if he could be the disrupter instead of the disrupted?

And the way you do that is by thinking about, "Okay, what are the things that could be disruptive?" And sometimes it's easier to focus on, what is it, what is something that they could do to you, than how you can lead the field. It's just, it's just easier to imagine things like that.

So play with that this week with your team. Or at least set the stage for playing, for playing with that question with your team. Set the stage to ask the scary question. Again, what is something that my closest competitor could do that if I were to hear about it first thing tomorrow morning, it would seriously ruin my day?

And then, you do it first.

I'm Bill Stainton. I'll be back next time with more ideas of how you can Turn Creativity into Money™.
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About the Author:

29-time Emmy Award winner and Hall of Fame keynote speaker Bill Stainton, CSP is an expert on Innovation, Creativity, and Breakthrough Thinking. He helps leaders and their teams come up with innovative solutions — on demand — to their most challenging problems.
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