If you've joined The Hub for any of our design challenge workshops, you may have participated in one of our favorite thought exercises: the Triz. In a Triz we ask groups to think through the opposite of a desirable outcome. EG: How could we design the worst possible patient experience? When you think about the opposite of what you want, you often find current sticking points or areas for immediate improvement in existing processes.
Over at Lifehacker, one of our favorite sites for clever solutions to day-to-day problems, they have posted about inverting problems.
Think about what makes life good. Now invert the process and think about what would make life bad. Knowing what would make life bad gives you a shortlist of what to sidestep. Both thinking forwards and thinking backwards can result in action, however, despite your best intentions, thinking forward can in fact increase the odds that you'll cause harm, while thinking backwards is actually less likely to cause harm – call it the avoiding stupidity filter.
Read more here: Solve Through Problems By Inverting Them