This is a beautiful explanation. Every time that I work with a new product manager or business owner I always explain that I ask a lot of questions. When we are working together, I am going to explore the constraints and boundaries of the problem. When I explain it that way they do not feel that I am just being argumentative. Continuum has done a nice job of embedding this into their process and culture. Entering cultures that do not do this is a challenge because many people are sensitive to feeling a question is challenging their work.
On the point of say “no, because,” I try to avoid “no” in many cases because it is so final. I rather say “what about …, what do you mean …, I thought it was …”
I have worked with individuals and teams where we do these 5 things and it does help explore the solutions space. It is a mindset that all team members need to have to work. For many, the suspension of disbelief has to be requested so that they can go through the process and learn to trust the questioning/arguing for the purpose of exploring the solution space.
Innovation Is About Arguing, Not Brainstorming. Here’s How To Argue Productively by Daniel Sobol
- “NO HIERARCHY
Breaking down hierarchy is critical for deliberative discourse.
- SAY “NO, BECAUSE”
No is a critical part of our process, but if you’re going to say no, you better be able to say why.
- DIVERSE PERSPECTIVES
This model works for us because deliberative discourse requires a multiplicity of perspectives to shape ideas.
- FOCUS ON A COMMON GOAL
Argument is productive for us because everyone knows that we’re working toward a shared goal.
- KEEP IT FUN
Our work requires intensity, thoughtfulness, and rigor. But no matter the nature of the project, we keep it fun.”