No matter the truth! The important is the possibility!

To create something new through the intersection of ideas can be an interesting challenge if the intention is indeed to find relevant items in the ideas of others and not just a confrontation.

When we try to be creative and innovate, that is when we want our new idea is shared by someone we have necessarily interact and ask questions, understand cultures and create new broader meanings.

This interaction both can be to prepare a recipe that satisfies different tastes as to solve a serious problem of accommodation to a group of people, victims of an accident.

If indeed we are committed to the success of these achievements, we can see that success depends on relationships with other people, through which we have access to knowledge and skills beyond ourselves.

In seeking solutions and as the situations grows in complexity when our resources are limited, that complexity can be simplified through a network of contacts that will be both richer and more diverse. In other words, is not only what we know, but is also who we know.

But it’s not enough to meet or establish connections with other people. We need more two things:

-Openness to an interrelationship, which means admitting failure both in us and in others and


-Want to ask questions.

The innovative person frequently asks questions that challenge the status quo or traditional or conventional wisdom.

For example, a successful music production depends on the team, and not as isolated individuals or super stars, and passes through collaborative networks, to produce a work of success. It is from the intersection in collaboration that emerges the new knowledge, the discovery of new possibilities, and the ability to ask questions.

When for any reason, we make an association that is not typical of our environment, caused, for example, for a research paper, this association results in a shortcut to reach a new idea and is outside of our well-educated network representations.

I say well-educated, because our history or the set of our experiments, cause usually do not think differently and what happens is that often when we think differently, we find the right direction in the middle of the route. It is the cut path.

It seems that creativity often happens when different ideas, stimuli and materials are put together through new combinations. But when we are faced with an intersection of fields or disciplines or even cultures, it is possible to combine existing concepts and create countless new ideas of high value.

Where is the relevance of things?

Then, as now, the most exciting work in design happened at the intersection of two or more disciplines, where knowledge from one finds relevance in another. Many designers might say, quite rightly, that they always work at the nexus of disciplines—synthesizing the demands of engineering, business, and human factors, not to mention style. Yet some designers still push beyond the expectations of their profession, breaking down more boundaries.”

We can provide energy to go to different places, and using the compass instead of GPS, looking at the intersection of new things that are not in the normal route.

This concern with the intersection of ideas is not a new concern. To attract talented people from many different disciplines and cultures, the Medici  caused the meeting between artists and “scientists”, which led to exchange ideas, and discover the intersections that allowed for giant leaps in creativity and innovation.

In other words, allowing search and find the connections between different disciplines and cultures, led us to an explosion of exceptional ideas.

To find the intersection between seemingly unrelated ideas, it is necessary to acquire the habit of observation. We must be constantly on the lookout to find connections.

And if…?

Curiosity is a good food, and when combined with experimentation of constructing scenarios not yet explored. When we explore new possibilities and we experiment them in teams where the diversity of disciplines exists we test scenarios that individually would not be possible.

When we observe, we look and see something! When we experiment we confirm what we see!


What do you think?


4 Responses to When we ask questions we create space for others’ creativity

  1. Jose, we definitely need the interrelationship with others and be able to trust them enough to admit failure. Just thinking about the ways jazz musicians toppled the old to give music a new and fresh approach. Rather than follow the scores they learned to improvise and knew intuitively when to give the stage to someone whose improvisation took the lead. They were indeed collaborative, but with a difference. We need to keep experimenting and musicians often lead the way.

  2. Judy Laws says:

    Jose, I really like this article and its focus on the importance of questionning. In the work that I do, whether it be related to innovation or collaboration skills, I always cover the topic of “discovery” or “powerful” questions, ones that are open-ended (not yes/no), intended to explore, are non-threatening and tap into what is important for the other person (or team). Here are some that we include:
    – Importance – What is important to you about this?
    – Outcomes – What is your desired outcome?
    – Success – How would you define success for this project?
    – Customer – How will our customer use this and what is most important to them?
    – Concerns – What concerns do you have?
    – Commitment – What gets in the way of being fully committed to this?
    – Resources – What resources do you need to help you decide?
    – Exploration – What are some possible options?
    – Creativity – How might we…; How to…; In what ways might we…
    – Assessment – What do you think is the best approach?
    – Elaboration – Tell me more about your idea.
    – Improvement – How can we make this better?
    – Implementation – What is the action plan? What will you do?
    – Anticipation -What might happen and how can we handle it?
    – Learning – What can we learn from this experience?

    • Jose Baldaia says:

      Hi Judy!
      Thank you for your comments!
      I appreciate the link to the site and all the examples of good questions you mentioned. Really good insights!

  3. Muchas gracias por su artículo.
    Para una visión de la influencia de los Medici, tal vez es recomendable el libro de Csikszentmihalyi: Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention

    De nuevo gracias

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