A new television series on the Fox network, Almost Human, is set in the near future when technology is advancing so fast that it can no longer be effectively regulated. To try and keep up, human police officers are partnered with androids. It is just science fiction for now, but with Amazon planning to soon use drones to deliver packages it makes you wonder if a large technology jump is actually quite possible. Could we begin innovating so fast that we won’t be able to control it? It is a classic “What If” scenario. Wondering what if can be a little scary, but it can also be fun. A what if scenario is a relatively easy way to get the creative gears in your mind turning, and can be used to help you innovate within your current organization. Creating a list of opposites is a good starting point for launching what if thinking. Your list, for example, could include: Combine it or Separate it Winterize it or Summerize it Make it bigger or Make it smaller Complicate it or Simplify it Asking “What if….” before each of these sets of opposites will help you discover new ways to innovate things that you might otherwise not have thought of. Take cell phones for example. For awhile, the trend was to make phones as small as possible. To make touch screen technology practical on a phone, however, someone had to wonder “What if phones were bigger?” Continue to expand your list of opposites as you brainstorm, reinvent and innovate. One day we may reach the point where innovation can’t be stopped, but for now, it is still one of the most promising problem solving tools we have to help us change the world for the better. ~Kathleen Sales, Quartet Blog Author & Editor
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