Friday, December 19, 2008

Leveraging Misunderstanding To Generate Great Ideas

Today we had a little meeting to talk about the priorities for our next iteration. We had a really odd, fun experience.

We're trying to figure out how to implement a feature that none of our competitors' products have really addressed, but the client needs. But, it's a bit tricky, so we were talking about the problem.

The team lead explained a possible solution to the problem. It sounded like a great idea, and I re-stated the problem back to him, but I had misunderstood what he said. He in turn, heard my response incorrectly and thought that I had had a great idea. But the thing he thought I was saying actually was a great idea, and solved the problem beautifully, elegantly. We all had a good laugh, since we had arrived at a terrific solution as we went back and forth misunderstanding each other.

So, whose great idea was it? Nobody's, really, and everybody's. So cool.

Now, of course, we have something of a puzzler - how do we effectively leverage our confusion to produce more groundbreaking ideas?

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