A Mother Muses about Innovation


A Mother Muses about Innovation

Sitting alone on a quiet and peaceful Mother’s Day morning—with husband and older son out washing my car and my baby sleeping—I was able to do a little life reflection. Wouldn’t it be fun, I thought, to take an innovation methodology I work with in my job and apply it to life. It’s one of my favorites: one that takes any problem or situation and simply reframes it with the phrase “How might we?”

How might we? is a really powerful question. Making it as powerful as possible requires an answer that is as big as possible. If we articulate the answer in a way that removes barriers and limitations, then we increase the chance of generating a really innovative idea.

So I asked myself How might I have more joy in my life? Right away I saw a restriction: The word “more” is limiting. More is relative. What if I have a tiny amount of joy right now? If a little bit gets added, I do have more, but I just have a small amount more. We can do better than that.

So I rephrased the question to How might I have the most joy in my life? While that does sound a little better, I wondered if it could be even more expansive. What is the most? Again, we are in the realm of subjectivity. I can do better.

How might I have so much joy in life that it transforms me as a human being to operate at a higher level?  Now we’re getting somewhere. That one I really like. We’re taking the idea of joy and looking how it can be impactful.

I thought about it further. How might I have so much joy in life that it transforms me as a human being? What does operating at a higher level look like? These are really fun questions to dig into.

Before I could think of more juicy ideas, the baby cried. Quiet time at an end, off I went to my little bundle of joy—and I realized that I had found one of my answers.

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