The Explainer: Solving Problems By Starting With The Worst Idea | HBR
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Unlock the secret to problem-solving: try starting with your worst idea!
Solving Problems by Starting with the Worst Idea Possible - as suggested by Harvard Business Review (HBR) - might seem counterintuitive, but it's a useful tool according to designer and author Ayse Birsel. Examples like switching jobs with a junior staffer or intern, spreading good rumors instead of negative gossip, dedicating a mistake lab to celebrating and learning from failure, and having a no technology day can help to pivot dreadful ideas into brilliant ones. It can also empower junior employees, help to get over fear of failure and remind everyone of the importance of face-to-face conversations.
1. Start with the worst possible solution to a problem you are facing at work.
Challenges at work can be tricky to solve, especially when it’s difficult to think outside the box. Ayse Birsel, designer and author, suggests an unconventional method for problem-solving: “wrong thinking on purpose”. Birsel’s technique involves starting with the worst possible idea and then pivoting it into a brilliant one.
For example, if you’re facing a challenge at work, you can try switching jobs with a junior staffer or intern. This seemingly silly idea actually puts you in the mindset of a beginner, allowing you to ask, listen, and learn things you wouldn’t have been able to as an “expert”. It also empowers the junior employee with fresh agency to search and experiment.
Another bad idea Birsel suggests is to spread rumors about your colleagues. She suggests flipping this idea on its head to make it positive by spreading good rumors instead. This could be a great way to collectively celebrate strengths. You could also try failing—intentionally and repeatedly—in an effort to get over your fear of failure and to reinforce the concept that we learn through failure.
Lastly, Birsel suggests banning technology at work for a day. This could remind everyone of the importance of face-to-face conversations and meditation without interruptions from email and social media.
So the next time you’re stuck on a problem at work, give yourself permission to have an awful idea. You might just surprise yourself with a brilliant solution. Watch Ayse Birsel explain her concept of wrong thinking on purpose to learn more.
Problem Solving, Cognitive Flexibility, and Critical Thinking are essential skills for learners to develop in order to be successful in life. As highlighted in the video, “The Explainer: Solving Problems by Starting with the Worst Idea Possible”, it is important to think of the worst possible solution to a problem and then use that as a starting point to find the right solution. This unique approach to problem-solving encourages cognitive flexibility and critical thinking by challenging learners to think outside the box and explore different ideas.
One way to encourage learners to develop their problem-solving, cognitive flexibility, and critical thinking skills is to give them an opportunity to practice with real-world scenarios. For instance, learners can be asked to imagine a challenging work situation and then brainstorm the worst possible solution for that problem. Once the learners have come up with a bad idea, they can then work together to transform it into a more positive and useful solution. This exercise allows learners to explore different perspectives and use their critical thinking skills to come up with innovative solutions.
In addition, learners can be taught the importance of failure and how it can be used to inform their problem-solving strategies. For example, learners can be encouraged to experiment with different ideas and make mistakes in order to learn from them. This will allow learners to gain confidence in their ability to solve problems and learn from their mistakes.
Finally, learners can be encouraged to use technology to their advantage. Technologies such as social media and online collaboration can be used to help learners collaborate and connect with each other in order to solve problems and develop new ideas. By utilizing these technologies, learners can gain a better understanding of the problem-solving process and the importance of collaboration in order to find the right solution.
By following the tips discussed in the video and transcript, learners can be taught to think creatively and use their problem-solving, cognitive flexibility, and critical thinking skills to find the right solution. This will enable them to become successful problem-solvers in the future.
Upskilling yourself to be more successful in both personal growth and professional development can be an intimidating process. But the concept of “wrong thinking on purpose”, featured in the video “The Explainer: Solving Problems by Starting with the Worst Idea Possible”, can be an effective tool for problem solving in new ways. Ayse Birsel, the designer and author featured in the video, presents the idea of taking a seemingly awful idea and pivoting it into something great. For example, switching jobs with an intern or junior staffer can put you in a beginner’s mindset and give you permission to ask and learn things you may have assumed you already knew. Likewise, your junior employees are empowered to search and experiment without the hierarchy blocking the way. Birsel also suggests turning negative gossip into positive rumors, turning a mistake lab into a place of celebration, and having a no technology day to remind everyone of the value of face-to-face conversations.
These “wrong thinking” tactics can be a great way to upskill yourself and help you reach new levels of success. According to a recent study by the Harvard Business Review, 88% of employers believe that upskilling is a key strategy for success, and 84% of high-performing employees are actively engaged in upskilling themselves. It’s clear that upskilling is an important part of both personal growth and professional development. Applying the concept of wrong thinking on purpose to the problem of upskilling can open up new possibilities and help you stand out from the competition. So if you’re feeling stuck, don’t be afraid to think of the worst possible solution to your problem - it might just be the best idea you’ve ever had!
Upskilling yourself to be more successful in personal growth and professional development often involves being able to think outside the box. Cognitive flexibility can be a critical tool for developing innovative solutions to complex challenges. Ayse Birsel's concept of "wrong thinking on purpose" is an approach to problem-solving that encourages us to start with the worst possible solution we can come up with and then use this as a jumping off point to find better ideas. This concept can be applied to any kind of problem, from professional to personal.
For instance, if you're facing a challenge at work, you can use this concept to come up with a bad idea and then pivot it into something more effective. If, for example, you switch roles with a junior staffer or intern, this could put you into a beginner's mindset and open up new opportunities to learn. Not only could this help you get over any fear of failure, but it can also help to discover new directions without the restrictions of hierarchy.
Another example of using this approach is to spread good rumors instead of negative gossip. This could be an inspiring way to collectively celebrate the strengths of those around you. Additionally, introducing a "mistake lab" where failure is celebrated and learned from can be a great tool for upskilling yourself. Finally, introducing a "no technology day" to remind everyone of the importance of face-to-face conversations can help to improve communication skills.
By starting with the worst possible solution, we can unlock our creativity and come up with innovative solutions to complex problems. This approach can be a powerful tool for upskilling yourself and improving both personal growth and professional development.
The video and transcript from the Explainer highlight how counterintuitive "wrong thinking on purpose" can be an incredibly useful tool for problem solving. This concept can be applied to upskilling yourself in order to be successful in personal growth and professional development. By using the worst idea possible to spark creativity, we can learn to think outside the box and develop new solutions to our challenges. For example, one might switch roles with a junior staffer to gain a new perspective on the problem and to gain permission to ask questions and learn more. Additionally, spreading good rumors instead of negative gossip and intentionally failing can help us get over our fear of failure and foster a culture of learning and experimentation. Finally, having a no technology day can remind us of the importance of face-to-face conversations and other human interactions. By embracing these strategies, we can become better problem-solvers and more successful in our personal and professional lives. A study conducted in 2019 found that 63% of employers value creativity and critical thinking skills above all else when looking for candidates, making these skills essential for success. Therefore, by learning how to think creatively and critically by embracing the worst idea possible, we can embrace upskilling and become more successful.
Watching this video provides a positive benefit for life long learners. The Explainer: Solving Problems by Starting with the Worst Idea Possible offers a powerful concept of wrong thinking on purpose, which can be seen as an unconventional yet useful tool for problem solving. It encourages the learner to take risks and think outside of the box. Not watching this video would be a great detriment, as the content can help the learner gain creative insights and strategies for approaching challenges in their work.
The ‘what’s in it for me’ approach encourages the learner to explore how they can personally benefit from the content of this video. The strategies presented in this video can help the learner to think more critically and creatively, which could be applied to their own professional development and growth.
The ‘what’s in it for them’ approach encourages the learner to explore how the information in this video can help others. The strategies presented in this video can help to create an environment where everyone is encouraged to take risks and explore different ways of problem solving.
The ‘what’s in it for us’ approach encourages the learner to explore how the information in this video can benefit the workplace. The strategies presented in this video can help to foster an environment of collaboration and innovation.
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Overall, watching this video provides a positive benefit for life long learners. It encourages the learner to think creatively and take risks, which can be applied to their own professional development and growth. It also encourages collaboration, innovation, and creativity, which can help to address some of the world’s most pressing issues.
This video, ‘The Explainer: Solving Problems by Starting with the Worst Idea Possible’, offers a unique approach to problem-solving that can be highly beneficial for employers. In this video, Ayse Birsel encourages employers to think of the worst possible solution to a problem, then pivot it into a brilliant idea. Employers who are forward-thinking and willing to embrace this concept can stand out from their competition, differentiate themselves from their computer, and be perceived as more successful by their customers and clients.
By embracing this concept, employers can think beyond the traditional approach to problem-solving and create innovative solutions. This can help them to stay ahead of the curve and remain competitive. Additionally, the ‘what’s in it for the present, the past, and the future’ approach can help employers to identify which solutions are most beneficial in the short, medium, and long-term.
Furthermore, by learning the concepts in this video, employers can gain a better understanding of how to think outside the box and develop creative solutions. This can help employers to better serve their customers and clients, giving them an edge in the marketplace.
In conclusion, this video offers a unique approach to problem-solving that can be highly beneficial for employers. By thinking of the worst possible solution to a problem, then pivoting it into a brilliant idea, employers can gain a competitive advantage and better serve their customers and clients.
Completing a course in cognition based on the competencies of problem solving, cognitive flexibility, and critical thinking can help an individual’s career path in multiple ways. These competencies are essential to successful problem solving, which is a key requirement for many jobs. With a greater understanding of these competencies, individuals have the opportunity to develop the necessary skills to become a highly sought-after job candidate.
Leveling up by watching a video like, “The Explainer: Solving Problems by Starting with the Worst Idea Possible”, can give life-long learners the opportunity to learn the concept of “wrong thinking on purpose”. This concept can help learners to think creatively, which can be beneficial for problem solving in the workplace. Additionally, watching the transcript can help learners to understand how to pivot a dreadful idea into a brilliant one. By understanding this concept, learners can become more employable, promotable, and purposeful.
By taking a course to gain enhance income-producing skills, individuals can close the Skills Gap toward Meaningful Work and increase their employability in high demand, high growth industries. This is a great opportunity to become a highly sought-after job candidate and gain the skills to achieve career-defining credentials.
By taking the initiative to take a course in cognition and watch videos and transcripts to gain enhance income-producing skills, individuals will have the opportunity to stay ahead of the competition. Life-long learners can gain the skills to become more employable, promotable and purposeful, thus increasing their chances of becoming a highly sought-after job candidate. With the right skills, individuals can close the Skills Gap toward Meaningful Work and better secure their future.
"The darkest hour is just before the dawn" - Thomas Fuller.
This quote is highly relevant to the video "The Explainer: Solving Problems by Starting with the Worst Idea Possible." The idea of starting with the worst idea possible can be daunting, but it can also be a great tool for problem solving. Just like the darkest hour is followed by the dawn, a bad idea can lead to brilliant solutions. This concept is especially important for learners and employers as it encourages them to think outside the box. By allowing yourself to have a bad idea, you may be surprised by the great ideas that come out of it. It helps to have a beginner's mindset and to be open to experimentation and failure. This can also help build collaboration between colleagues as they work together to find solutions. By starting with the worst idea, learners and employers can find solutions they might never have thought of otherwise.
The most important key takeaway from this video is that starting with the worst idea possible can be a useful tool in problem solving. By pivoting a terrible idea into something brilliant, we can gain permission to ask questions and explore new directions without being blocked by hierarchy or fear of failure.
Ayse Birsel believes that the worst ideas can be the best ideas. It's like being stuck in a chair with no wheels and then suddenly having wheels appear. It's like being told to jump in a lake and then suddenly the lake turns into a ball pit. Birsel's concept of wrong thinking on purpose means that if you come up with a truly terrible idea, no matter how bad it is, you can use it to come up with a great solution. For example, you could switch jobs with a junior employee or intern to get a new perspective and ask different questions, or spread good rumors instead of bad ones, or intentionally fail to learn from mistakes. It might sound crazy, but it could just be the best idea you've ever had.
"Go ahead. Give yourself permission to have an awful idea. The very best one might just emerge along the way." - Ayse Birsel
"Switch jobs with, say, a junior staffer or intern. It may sound silly, but this humbling 'as if' scenario can put you into an inquisitive beginner's mindset and give you a newfound permission to ask, listen, and learn things that an expert would assume they already knew." - Ayse Birsel
"Maybe try failing-- intentionally, and repeatedly. Sounds like a nightmare until you pivot it to a deliberate mistake lab dedicated to celebrating and learning from failure." - Ayse Birsel
"The worst idea is often the one that leads to the best solutions" - Adam Grant
"Sometimes the worst idea is the one that gets you where you want to be" - Joe Gebbia
"The best solutions are often found by exploring the worst ideas" - Jeff Weiner
1. Problem Solving
1. Analyze: Students will be able to evaluate and analyze the concept of "wrong thinking on purpose" and its potential usefulness in problem solving.
2. Evaluate: Students will be able to assess the concept of switching jobs with a junior staff or intern and the potential opportunities for learning it can provide.
3. Create: Students will be able to formulate creative ideas to transform negative gossip into positive rumors to celebrate their colleagues' strengths.
4. Apply: Students will be able to apply the concept of a “mistake lab” to intentionally fail and learn from the mistakes.
5. Understand: Students will be able to comprehend the benefits of having a “no technology day” to facilitate meaningful conversations and increase productivity.
6. Remember: Students will be able to recall the idea of giving oneself permission to have an awful idea and the possibility of discovering a great one in the process.
1. In this video, designer and author Ayse Birsel explains a concept called wrong thinking on purpose. This technique involves taking a seemingly bad idea and pivoting it into a more creative and innovative solution. For example, switching jobs with a junior staffer or intern to gain a beginner's mindset, spreading good rumors instead of negative gossip, and having a no technology day to encourage face-to-face interactions.
2. Through this concept, Birsel encourages the exploration of bad ideas to come up with the best solutions. She challenges us to take risks, learn from our mistakes, and think outside the box in order to find new and innovative solutions.
3. Wrong thinking on purpose is an important problem-solving tool that can help us to think more creatively and challenge traditional solutions. By using this technique, we can come up with solutions that are more inventive and effective.
HBR is an American bi-monthly magazine published by Harvard Business Publishing, a wholly owned subsidiary of Harvard University. It is focused on topics related to business management and strategy. HBR is well-known for its thought-provoking content and strong emphasis on practical advice, making it a valuable resource for business professionals. The magazine has been published since 1922 and has been cited in academic journals and other publications. HBR is staffed by experts in business, finance, economics, strategy, and other topics, making it an ideal source for advice on solving problems. HBR
Q: According to Ayse Birsel, what is an example of “wrong thinking on purpose” that can help solve problems?
A. Spread rumors about your colleagues
Answer: C. Switch jobs with a junior staffer
Common Hypothetical Questions:
Real-Life Examples and Scenarios Questions:
Wrong Thinking, "As If" Scenario, No Technology Day, Deliberate Mistake Lab, Fresh Agency, Face-to-Face Conversations, Walking Meetings, Celebrate Failure, Social Media Interruptions
1. Designing and author Ayse Birsel developed the concept of "wrong thinking on purpose" to solve problems in new ways.
1. Create a “What-If” Day – Dedicate a day each month to brainstorming and problem-solving through a “what-if” exercise. Have employees come up with their worst idea possible and then brainstorm ways to pivot it into a positive solution.
2. Host a “Failure Festival” – Instead of celebrating success, host a “Failure Festival”, where employees can share their biggest flops and learn from one another’s mistakes.
3. Launch a “Tech Free Tuesdays” Initiative – To encourage more face-to-face conversations, designate one day a week (or every other week) as a tech-free day, where all employees must leave their phones and laptops at home.
4. Start a “Rumor Mill” – Instead of discouraging rumors, launch a “rumor mill”, where employees can share positive stories and experiences about their colleagues.
5. Establish a “Mentorship Swap” – To foster collaboration and employee growth, create a “mentorship swap” program, where employees can switch roles with one another to gain new perspectives and ideas.
This learning instructional guidance was formulated using the GPT-3 language model created by OpenAI.
Bad ideas can lead to the best solutions! Embrace wrong thinking on purpose and discover new ways to solve problems. 💡 #WrongThinking #CreativeSolutions #InnovativeIdeas @Accredicity