Derek Cheshire on Getting Bright Ideas
When you have a bright idea there is always someone who takes the wind out of your sails by asking “What about …?” Why not preempt them by doing a little homework first?
Below are 50 questions, variations on the usual who, what, why, when, where.
Think your idea through using these as prompts and see if you can improve your idea.
1. Who is affected by the problem?
2. Who else has it?
3. Who says it is a problem?
4. Who would like a solution?
5. Who would not like a solution?
6. Who could prevent a solution?
7. Who needs it solved more than you?
8. When does it occur?
9. When doesn’t it occur?
10. When did it appear?
11. When will it disappear?
12. When do other people see your problem as a problem?
13. When don’t other people see your problem as a problem?
14. When is the solution needed?
15. When might it occur again?
16. When will it get worse?
17. When will it get better?
18. Why is this situation a problem?
19. Why do you want to solve it?
20. Why don’t you want to solve it?
21. Why doesn’t it go away?
22. Why would someone else want to solve it?
23. Why wouldn’t someone else want to solve it?
24. Why is it easy to solve?
25. Why is it hard to solve?
26. What might change about it?
27. What are its main weaknesses?
28. What do you like about it?
29. What do you dislike about it?
30. What can be changed about it?
31. What can’t be changed?
32. What do you know about it?
33. What don’t you know about it?
34. What will it be like if it is solved?
35. What will it be like if it isn’t solved?
36. What have you done in the past with similar problems?
37. What principles underlie it?
38. What values underlie it?
39. What problem elements are related to one another?
40. What assumptions are you making about it?
41. What seems to be most important about it?
42. What seems to be least important about it?
43. What are the sub-problems?
44. What are your major objectives in solving it?
45. What else do you need to know?
46. Where is it most noticeable?
47. Where is it least noticeable?
48. Where else does it exist?
49. Where is the best place to begin looking for solutions?
50. Where does it fit in the larger scheme of things?
On Derek Cheshire of the UK
Derek encourages a holistic approach to Innovation. His work encompasses consultancy, idea generation, creativity workshops and facilitating continuous innovation. Derek is an accomplished speaker and has compiled a number of articles on Business Creativity and Innovation. One of his papers has been published by the ICFAI University Press in India as part of a reference book Ideas, Creativity and Innovation. Derek is a member of the mastermind group for the Design Interaction course at the Royal College of Art and Design in The Hague, speaking at their 2007 Mastermundo event and recently took part in the CNBC programme The Business of Innovation.