welcome to the brainsparker gym*


here's your weekly workout lesson:

"ask the right questions"

This week we've randomly picked a quote card from our brainsparker app Starter Pack.

"The uncreative mind can spot wrong answers, but it takes a creative mind to spot wrong questions." (Anthony Joy)

As you read that, what immediately springs to mind?

What this sparked for me was an image of the young Isaac Newton who sat under an apple tree. Over the years, millions of people have watched an apple fall, but he was the only one that asked "why?" And from that one question, the theory of gravity was formed.

As I've said before, in this era of daily "busyness" it's so easy to confront a problem and go with the first solution you can think of.

The problem is that our brain's are wired to follow the fastest and easiest route. And the solution that we come up may in fact not be the best solution.

So this week is all about asking the right questions:

-   First of all being conscious of pausing before you act, and asking the question

-   Secondly being aware of the questions you're actually asking

So let's explore this more.

Gabriella Goddard

lead coach  |  brainsparker academy

strengthen your creative ability:

try these 3 killer questions to spark better ideas

This week we're going to explore three killer questions that will really help you disrupt your routine thinking and come up with more innovative ideas to solve problems and challenges.

What is the real problem to be solved?

Albert Einstein once said, “If I had an hour to solve a problem I'd spend 55 minutes defining the problem and 5 minutes thinking about solutions.”

That's because by discovering and defining the real problem to be solved, you can develop a much better solution.

Take your local bookstore for example. While they were asking questions about which books to stock and how to create more attractive book displays, Amazon was asking the question about how they could help you buy any book in the world, and then deliver it straight to your door.

Essentially Amazon solved the more important problem of ensuring that you always found the book you wanted. And look where they are today.

Imagine a world where...?

As long as people have problems, there will always be an opportunity to create solutions.

Once you've defined the real problem to be solved, then it's a great idea to step back and imagine the ideal scenario.

For example, "imagine a world where you could go into a bookstore and buy any book you wanted at a great price. And then have it in your hand by the next day."

Interestingly, Jeff Bezos chose the name "Amazon" because he liked that the company would be named after the largest river in the world. In fact, their original strapline was "Earth's biggest bookstore."

So take the real problem to be solved, and create a vision for "what could be."

How might we...?

As you can see, with this question we're moving into generating ideas and solutions.

But what's important is that we're doing it based on the real problem to be solved and the ideal vision of the solution.

So for example:

-   how might we build the biggest bookstore on earth? (Amazon)

-   how might we ensure that no-one is ever charged late fees for a DVD? (Netflix)

-   how might we enable people to book a taxi anytime via their mobile? (Uber)

As soon as you use the "how might we..." question a number of shifts happen.

Firstly, by saying "how" implies that there IS a possible solution out there, you've just got to find it.

Secondly, by saying "might" we're opening up the game for multiple ideas to be considered, broadening the range of options.

And thirdly, by saying "we" implies that it is a collaboration, and that the best solution can involve many people and possibilities to innovate.

additional reading:

"The Secret Phase Top Innovators Use" (Warren Berger, Harvard Business Review)

"3 Ways to Train Yourself to be More Creative" (Art Markman, Fast Company)

develop your creative agility:

self-reflection & action learning


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    Which one of these 3 questions do you feel most comfortable with?
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    Which one is least comfortable?
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    How could you bring more of these questions into your daily life?
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    How could you use them more in groups & teams?

action learning:

Take a problem or challenge that you're facing.

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    What is the real problem you're trying to solve?
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    What would be the ideal vision of success?
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    What are all the different ways you could create this vision of success?

"The answers you get depend on the questions you ask."

Thomas Kuhn

be inspired:

Listen to Jeff Bezos talk about his Amazon journey in this fascinating talk.
You never know what it might spark!


Take a photo, write a short quote or poem, create a doodle or make something that represents the focus for this week.

"ask the right questions"

want to raise your game in 2018?

brainsparker gym*

join today and get:

one creativity workout

every week

for 52 weeks

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    Train your brain to think creatively - better, faster & bolder
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    Learn new creative thinking tools & techniques to come up with smarter ideas
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    Become an ideas catalyst for your team, clients, colleagues and customers
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    Learn on-the-go with bite-sized lessons delivered directly to you every week 

why learn with us?


Founder & Lead Coach

brainsparker app & academy

Our mission at brainsparker is to ignite over 1,000,000 people to spark new & brilliant ideas that shift paradigms in life, at work and in our world.

That's why we're passionate about coaching and training people to think creatively, to help them spark new ideas, shape paradigm shifting visions and launch game-changing concepts.  

Our brainsparker app is the No.1 app for creativity and creative thinking in the App Store in US, Canada, Australia & NZ with hundreds of thousands of users worldwide.

And our brainsparker academy offers a range of online coaching and training programs to enhance creativity and innovation capabilities especially at work.

Brainsparker is based in London, UK, and was founded by Gabriella Goddard, a highly experienced Executive Coach, Leadership Development Facilitator and Published Author with a specialism in creative thinking and innovation.

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