I consider this to be the most powerful 3 words ever assembled. Within; It carries endless possibilities, power and team work.
The only word-trio that can rival “how might we” is perhaps “One more, please”.
So what makes “how might we” so impactful? It is how it’s used. Especially in business.
Think about it.
When you have a business idea, product idea, app idea or one of those A-HA moments that you have at 3am when you can’t sleep you get filled with excitement. When you start a new venture or you are about to embark on a long journey of building a new brand, product or website you quickly become discouraged because you allow all these negative “what ifs…” fill your head, furthering you away from the initial excitement of starting something new. I’ve been there. I have ignited startups, I have launched products and I have stood at the massive foothills of “what if”. As exciting as it is, it is often time, emotionally draining.
That is when “how might we” becomes super useful. You should beam it up any time what if shows up like a bat signal!
The possibility of failure is grande. We all deal with it in different ways. However, a simple mind hack can help you navigate and turn this fear of failure into opportunities. For example instead of thinking “what if my startup fails” try saying something like “how might we make this startup successful?” See the difference? The both carry the undertone of uncertainty but one is more optimistic than the other.
This is applicable to almost anything inside and outside of your business.
The “how might we” turns an endless team debates full of doubts into a collaborative effort filled with opportunities.
How to apply it and make it a habit?
Take a sticky note. Write the “what if instance” then add HMW ( how might we ) to the top left corner of the sticky and see your ideas go from scary to exciting.
What makes it work?
Well time. It will take some time to retrain your brain to think in opportunities vs. doubts. Once you master it personally, you can take it and introduce it to your family, your partner, and ultimately your team.
It does wonders. It will be the cheapest therapy session you will ever have, and one of the most impactful ones.
How do I know?
Because it changed my life. I’ve had startups, I’ve had many failures. Then one day I picked up a Design Sprint book and was introduced to this concept in a new light. It changed my life so much that I risked it all to change the business model of my agency. See before “HMWs” we were an all inclusive A-Z agency. We did marketing, design, development etc….It was a generalist nightmare. After reading the book it was like a light bulb going off: “How might we go from a one stop shop fluff to a more focused agency that really solves the problems for our clients?” the answer was clear: Let’s start using how might we for our clients too. BOOM! So when the client comes now we begin and end all of our sessions with the discussion of potential of how might we…..Clients love it. They start using it within their organizations and that is how innovation becomes a normal part of your daily operations. As for me and my team we have become a strategy studio that really focuses on identifying opportunities in a sea of doubts. We take shaky ideas or muddy concepts and bring them to life. We test them, we flesh them out until it turns from “how might we” to “we are ready”! Because we fill ourselves with opportunities.
Give it a try and tell me how might we improve our thought process to be even better?
If you would like to know how might we work together please get in touch