However, quite often, we get to the end of that imaginative path, and, good news, we have an idea in mind. We might express it, we might not. Often, instead of moving forward with self-expression, like writing it up, talking to others, or taking some action, we just let it go.
Lots of reasons. It might seem impractical. Or expensive. Or just hard to do. Or, we might start thinking about what everybody is going to say about it, and mercy sakes, don’t we let what others are going to say rule a bit too much? Then fear of criticism kicks in. Suffice to say, we squash that flower, that little shoot, of an idea. So, our lovely What If excursion, has gone to waste.
So, I’m suggesting when that moment arrives — at the end of that What If path with an idea in mind — ask yourself another question. The question is simply, Why Not?
I could be profane with that question — I’ll leave creative variations up to you — but really folks, Why Not? Why the Bleep Not! God forbid you should put some fun into the evaluation of ideas right?
Let’s look at some typical fears and then ask Why Not? Here are some possible answers:
Fear Speaking: It hasn’t been done before. Why Not? Answer — nobody thought of it yet, I’m getting there first!
Fear Speaking Again: It’s too difficult. Why Not? (do it anyway) Answer — difficult is where opportunity lives, and maybe you know a clever way to reduce difficulty, or, can think of one.
Fear Talking Too Much: This could change my life. Why Not? (change your life) Answer — creativity is about change and if it’s a big change it’s going to feel uncomfortable. But hey, swim around in the change for awhile and see why it might make sense, why it might turn out fine. I mean Why Not? Is your life great as it is?
See how that goes?
Why Not is a complement to What If. Use it when you’re about to throw an idea down the toilet. Use it as a bridge to creative action. And Why Not is a good question to ask when your innovation team is about to rule out an interesting idea. Try it on for size — Why the Bleep Not.