Are You Going Down the Wrong Rabbit Hole?

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When you and your team are looking for innovative ideas, make sure you aren't going down the wrong rabbit hole!

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 there, Bill Stainton here with Turning Creativity into Money™. Have you ever heard the expression "going down a rabbit hole"? Sure you have. You've done it yourself, haven't you? If you own a computer, a Google machine, if you have access to the internet, or YouTube, or Facebook, you've gone down the rabbit hole, and that's a bad thing, right?

Well, not always. Not always.

See, when you talk about innovation, it's not necessarily bad going down a rabbit hole, if it's the right rabbit hole, and if you're looking for rabbits. The problem is if you're going down the wrong rabbit hole.

Now, what do I mean by this?

Well, if you're asking the wrong question to begin with, and then putting all of your innovative resources into that question—you know, your team, your money, your time, your energy—into that, into that question, but it's the wrong question, then you're wasting your time. So you want to make sure you're focusing on the right question, the right rabbit hole, right? The right question.

I'll give you an example.

Let's say you run a widget company. It's always widgets, isn't it? Let's say you run a widget company, and your widget company is not as profitable as you'd like it to be. And so you gather your team together and you say, "Okay, we need to come up with ideas to sell more widgets!" And so you devote money into that question, you devote resources, your team comes up with loads of ideas of how to sell more widgets. That's great, right?

Well, what if the real problem is your cost of doing business, the fact that you're losing money with each, with each widget you sell? Maybe the real question should have been, "How can we reduce costs?" or, "How can we increase profitability?" as opposed to, "How can we sell more widgets?" If you're losing money with each widget you sell, then asking the question, "How can we sell more widgets?" that's going down the wrong rabbit hole.

That's not going to help you. You're answering the wrong question. You're, you're channeling your innovation down the wrong rabbit hole.

So the first thing you need to do when you need an innovative solution to a challenge, or an innovative idea for an opportunity, is make sure you define the question correctly. Figure out what the right rabbit hole is. Then, go down that rabbit hole.

Find that rabbit, find that great idea. Just make sure it's the right one to begin with.

Answer the right question. Don't get stuck going down the wrong rabbit hole.

I'm Bill Stainton, I'll see you next time when I help you Turn Your Creativity into Money™.

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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