Dave Birss writes in his book, A Users Guide to the Creative Mind, about being creative, finding new solutions, and combining ideas and perspectives to create something new. On solving problems he writes, “The best way to find the right solution is to make sure you’re asking the right question.” I am a huge fan of this quote because it shows how important varying perspectives can be, especially when combined with persistence, a desire to improve, and flexibility. Too often in our daily lives, be it business, our personal lives, and even national politics, we settle into a single perspective and we begin to approach problems from one side with everyone asking the same question.
If we follow Birss’ advice, then we begin to reach out to find solutions to our problems from new perspectives. In my mind it is as if we take a problem, and leave a two demential space where we are looking at the problem as if it were a wall in front of us, and enter a three demential space and look at the problem as if it were a sphere where we could change our angle and vantage point at will. When we begin to look at problems from new perspectives we find that we have different questions about our original problem. In fact we may see that our problem is actually a goal, an opportunity, or just a thought that others have not acted upon.
Asking the right questions is an exercise in persistence because you have to reach beyond the first thoughts and questions that you develop. You must begin to think of things in new ways, ask others for their thoughts and advice, and not be afraid to voice opinions that may be different. Our openness to new ideas will help us change our perspective, and our new perspective will help us ask new questions regarding our problem. When we take this approach to push forwards and constantly grow, we will build new bridges and make new connections with a more well rounded and flexible mind.