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What if????

I love these two little words that offer the white space to explore.  When you are faced with a dilemma that you can’t resolve in your head, the big what if question allows you to let your imagination run riot without worrying about the consequences.  It is best done with a trusted business buddy or supportive group who are not going to claim you’re crazy.  Indeed the suspension of belief is essential to collective exploration as the spin off ideas may well be the very solution to the problem.

Whilst you can create white space in your working environment, you may find you are more imaginative if you are physically elsewhere.  A place where the distractions are triggers rather than disturbances.  Stepping outside your working space is the first towards harnessing the energy to solve the problem.  You may also find you are out your comfort zone.  That’s good – go with it!

When the creativity has woven its magic, mock up your solution, make a prototype or design your first draft.  If you are worried that people will think it is finished, stick on a label that says ‘under construction’.  Let people offer you “what if’ feedback or better still – ask for it. 


PS I have written about trigger words that allow you to communicate when you are in a certain frame of mind.  Edward deBonos Six Thinking Hats is a brilliant model if you work within a team that needs to change its thinking style from time to time. 


  1. Short, sweet and makes you think… only other comment is to add the fun factor? How about the ‘What if…?’ game?

    Can you out ‘What if..?’ your partner??


  2. Great sentiment. Personally I love using ‘why not’ as an alternative to ‘what if’. The latter is something which asks for permission whilst the former, I find, says I’m going for this, unless you can come up with a good reason not to 🙂


  3. Yes I like this alternative. It works well if you don’t ‘need’ permission. The difference perhaps in working for someone or working for self? There is some psychology in this ….?


  4. What if – two great little words for creatives. What if can really move you forward if you have hit a wall. I use it all the time to get writers thinking out of the box and not going for the obvious solution. Great post.


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