Tag Archives: Thinkertoys

How to Drive Fear Out of Innovation

The Tic Toc Exercise

Drive Fear Out of Innovation

“To Secure Ourselves Against Defeat Lines In Our Own Hands!” — Sun Tzu

GUEST POST from Teresa Spangler

One of my favorite books to pull out in times like these is Thinkertoys, by Michael Michalko. Keeping a fresh eye on what could catch me off guard in times when anxiety and stress could take over all mental faculties if we let it.   How might we defeat these feelings that paralyze us: anxieties, stresses, and FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt)?

“Being defeated is often a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent.” — Marilyn vos Savant

There is an exercise in Thinkertoys called Tic-Toc. It is somewhat fashioned after building anticipated scenarios of worst-case best case only this builds strength in creating our future realities by addressing the fears that we have head-on.  Here is an example of the exercise:

Tic Side- write your fear Toc-Side-write the opposite of the fear
Customers will never agree to these new ideas? Customers will really like this idea if I apply myself and engage them in a deeper conversation.
My idea is so out there I will be laughed at This is a good idea; I will share it as it doesn’t have to be accepted by everyone. If it helps just one person or if one person believes in this idea, they can help others believe in it.
Our leadership team’s plan could be so much better, but they will not listen to me. I could help my leadership team understand there are additional ways we could approach their ideas and receive even better outcomes.

This seems like such a simple exercise, but it is in fact a very powerful exercise that can have dramatically positive outcomes if you act on the right side of the chart but recognize the left side of the chart.  Here you are battling your fears head on, you are training yourself to have more conviction and take actions that may lead you out of challenges seen and unseen.  Tic Toc exercises that accompany your written set of worst-case best-case scenarios could be a trigger to new and even innovative thinking.

Innovative thinking, remodeling our businesses, considering what new normal trends will be critical to every business’ survival.  Innovation does not get out the door if we have our own self-doubts and no plans of what it really could be if we put our heart, minds, souls to the innovation we believe in and then comes the justifications, the financial modeling and the new potential business models.

If you tell yourself no one will listen, or my ideas are worthless then they will manifest in your gut creating even more anxiety and your greatness may be lost in fear.

Speak now and for NEVER, hold your peace.

Image credit: Pixabay

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