There Is A DARK SIDE Of My “What If…?” Message. Here It Is…
Innovation? Or The Key To Worry, Obsession and Fear?
Many of you know my “What IF…?” keynote is all about becoming more innovative by asking the question, “What if?” When you come up against the impossible instead of backing down, instead ask, “Hey, what if we could do this, how would it happen?”
Worldwide this message has resonated and exploded with great results.
However, I have friends, some speakers like me, who teach the horrors of the “What ifs?” By that they mean worry and fear, “What if this goes wrong? What if that bad thing happens? What if we don’t make it?”
It’s a valid point. We all know pessimistic people like that. Not you of course, but maybe someone you know, right?
But is “What if? really the problem? Or is it maybe the person asking it?
Consider the axe. With an axe you can build a home for shelter. Or you can cut off someone’s head. Is the axe to blame in either case?
Of course not. The axe is just a tool. The blame or credit falls on the user.
And so it is with asking “What if…?” With it you can brainstorm new ideas, products, processes, and solutions… or you can worry yourself to death by fixating on your problems. It’s your choice.
Now, I would offer that even the negative “What if’s?” are useful if you don’t obsess over them. Wouldn’t we be better off if the creators of asbestos had asked, “What if this stuff causes a health problem, what would it be?”
Using “what if?” for identifying potential problems is one of it’s best uses.
In fact, try this as a team. Have a “What if? future meeting. Compile all relevant data and then ask:
“Based on what we can see happening, what if we have a problem a year from now what will it be? “
Solve that problem now and you will lead your competition. A brilliant friend says it like this:
“The organizations who lead will be the ones who solve tomorrow’s problems today.” –Dan Burrus
The bottom line is you. You have a choice. You can use “What if?” to open up possibilities, to identify problems to solve… or to worry about everything. It’s up to you.
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Live Truly, Truly Live,