I’ve always been intrigued by where good ideas come from.

It’s a fascination that comes from my lifelong observations that great ideas come from so many different areas and by so many different “methods”. Sometimes ideas just seem to pop out from the abyss. In other instances, great ideas come about in formal settings around a conference table. There doesn’t seem to be one “right way” to come up with new ideas.

But here’s the thing.

I’ve noticed a tactic, that when utilized, seems to over-index in its ability to bring new ideas about.

It’s all about using the word “might“.

The word “might” is amazingly powerful when it comes to inviting creativity and innovation to the party. I think it’s mostly because the word is the opposite of judgmental. It’s not proclaiming to have the answer. It’s just saying “hey, this is interesting and it’s worthy of exploring further”. It opens the door to imagination. I also think it’s powerful because it’s an invitation for others to join the effort; and diversity of thought, when applied to a tricky problem, seems to almost always come up with unique solutions.

At Sprocket, we’re big fans of the word “might” for the reasons I mentioned above. In fact, once we’ve properly framed a problem, our next step is to essentially ask “how might we” questions that lead us toward innovative (and economically valuable) solutions. It’s an exercise filled with digital post-it notes, co-creation sessions with our clients, and plenty of excitement for the future.

Next time you’re looking to give your firm’s innovation engine a jolt, consider using an extra spoonful of the word “might”.

And, of course, if you want some experienced (and fun) innovation thinking buddies at the table, just give us a shout.