In the video, professional speaker Paul Sloan shares a captivating chapter from his book titled ‘How to Be a Brilliant Thinker‘ at motivational speaker Kevin Kelly’s Sell Your Story conference.
In the chapter titled “How to Think What Nobody Else Thinks“, the author challenges traditional thinking patterns and advocates for asking unconventional questions to solve complex problems. The chapter begins by highlighting a critical issue: the high mortality rate of underweight premature infants in the developing world due to a lack of reliable incubators. While conventional thinking focuses on building better incubators, the author introduces a lateral thinker named Tim Cristero who approached the problem differently.
Cristero, working for a design company in America, asked a unique question: “What equipment is maintained in Africa?” This question led him to the surprising answer: Toyota trucks were widely maintained across the continent. Leveraging this insight, Cristero ingeniously designed a baby incubator entirely from Toyota truck spare parts. The incubator’s frame was the only non-Toyota component; the heating element, controls, and even the headlights were repurposed from Toyota trucks.
This innovative solution revolutionized the approach to the problem by demonstrating the power of asking unconventional questions. By thinking beyond the obvious and challenging existing norms, great thinkers can uncover groundbreaking solutions that make a significant difference in the world. The chapter serves as a testament to the transformative potential of asking unique questions and encourages readers to adopt a similar mindset in their pursuits of innovation and problem-solving.