The Worst Idea

“What is the worst thing we could do to solve this problem?”

This question seems simple at first pass, but it encourages a few things that solution-only thinking can’t.

Likely, the product team has only been thinking about the solution. They’ve only been telling themselves what it will be, which is like a set of blinders preventing the team from seeing better opportunities. During our Strategy and Alignment session, we’ll take a moment to step back and explore some really bad ideas with the fun and challenging design thinking exercise, the “Worst Idea."

It can help uncover individual & shared biases & assumptions that could lead to overly complex solutions, “me too” products, and false constraints. It gets around phrases like, “no way people want that,” “that’s not how I’m thinking about it,” or “our platform can’t support that.”

One person’s worst idea can be another person’s good idea. Yikes. But if those ideas are never made explicit, then they’ll lead to greater conflict down the road. Now is the best time to have that conversation.

The Worst Idea process should be a lot of fun. Fun helps people be more creative & possibility-minded. The Worst Ideas often open up rabbit holes that turn into major insights & uncover real opportunities that would have never otherwise been explored.

So write these worst ideas down where everyone can see them, on a sticky note or white board. They’ll surely inspire more bad ideas. And those will inspire good ideas, building a stronger team & product in the process.

Does your team need help getting to some of their worst ideas? Let’s set up a strategy & alignment session and make something great.

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