September 18, 2014 by Gene Jones

How to Unleash Breakthrough Thinking in Business

This is a breakthrough system for spurring innovative, game-changing thinking that propels companies and organizations to reach their highest potential.
In today’s rapidly changing and exceedingly competitive business environment, it is imperative to continually uncover new and innovative ways to stay ahead of the curve and, most importantly, not get left behind. To outperform the competition, breakthrough thinking —the kind of out-of-the-box ideation that expands horizons and provokes epiphanies – is no longer a luxury, it is an absolute necessity. This kind of thinking can take a company from good to great, or from failing to wildly successful.

The rewards realized from developing even one breakthrough idea can be immense. Indeed, the most successful companies are the ones that work smarter, not necessarily harder.

Every single employee at any organization is a potential diamond in the rough—possibly possessing latent ideas and visions that lay dormant, which represents an immense untapped opportunity. The key challenge is discerning how to tap into that diamond mine and unearth hidden gems—those game changing ideas that propel companies to reach their highest potential.

How does an organization foster breakthrough thinking? The answer is surprisingly simple: Trivia! While most people consider such games to be hobbies or playful ways to pass idle time, when strategically implemented, trivia becomes much more than just fun and games. In fact, the use of trivia has been proven to unlock the potential of the human mind, thereby improving mental performance and enhancing creativity. One report cited “the engagement and excitement produced by trivia games is directly related to cognitive and brain development.”
In essence, trivia is important because it exercises the mind.

The Art of Transformational Play
Transformational play is the use of the art of play to accomplish serious business. The mantra of transformational play is: Play First – Work Better – Achieve Superior Results. Therefore, the power of play is not to be underestimated. Transformational play derives its power from its combining of play with strong intention. Basically, transformational play can be described as ‘play with a purpose’. When strategically utilized, specially formatted games of trivia become exceptional vehicles of transformational play.
Below are 5 proven ways that trivia serves as a powerful tool for mobilizing breakthrough thinking:
1. Improves cognitive skills by providing mental cross-training known as asymmetric thinking. By inspiring previously unexplored thought patterns, asymmetric thinking stimulates the brain to fire on more cylinders, thereby facilitating greater neuroplasticity which generates greater creativity, innovation, and problem-solving capabilities.

2. Seamlessly shifts participants to be more alert and receptive to useful information, thus accelerating the learning curve.

3. Facilitates better memory by increasing accessible intelligence. This is accomplished by exercising memory recall systems in the brain.

4. Builds community through the sharing of common knowledge, serving as a unique social interaction and communication model.

5. Assists in concept formation by providing targeted streams of information in question and answer formats, thereby dramatizing concepts by connecting the previously unconnected relationships between events, data and ideas. This leads to greater understanding of relevant subjects.

With these benefits as a foundation, businesses and individuals can leverage strategically crafted trivia games to gain various critical business advantages. Among other distinct advantages, trivia can:
• Inspire innovation and facilitate creative ideation
• Expedite problem solving
• Promote team building and corporate culture development
• Enhance the development of leadership skills
• Increase productivity performance and growth
• Reinforce knowledge and clarify concepts
• Foster conversation and communication
Trivia, when presented in a strategically designed game show format for corporate training, can readily promote the power of cognitive thinking within a business to improve mental dexterity and efficiency among personnel. Trivia games can be utilized to expand decision-making capabilities and accelerate progress by helping individuals knock down ‘mental ‘walls’ and think more expansively. When aptly exploited, such breakthrough thinking yields extreme competitive advantages that drive organizations ahead of the curve….and keep them there.

Used in this manner, trivia becomes the entry point for breakthrough thinking. It prepares the mind to function on a higher level. Essentially, the trivia game show format acts as the launching pad for advanced problem solving and ideation by creating asymmetric thought patterns in the brain. For those not familiar with this term, asymmetric thinking is the opposite of linear thinking. When the brain is working asymmetrically, it is firing randomly which creates new patterns and connections between existing memory and new knowledge. To accomplish this, trivia questions from multiple subjects must be presented in rapid fire and in random order. Also, no question can be allowed to go unanswered, even if everyone in the group is stumped. The way to achieve this is by providing random improvisational hints that lead participants to the correct answers.

Combining all the above-mentioned elements in a trivia game forces participants’ minds to work asymmetrically. This effect occurs seamlessly when the presentation of trivia is properly administered.
The reason trivia is able to serve as a superior method of transformational play is that it has so many other qualities that transcend other methods. Using trivia as a method of serious play provides the opportunity to imbed targeted information within the play process. This is a powerful advantage over almost all other play modalities. Sharing trivia is also a natural community builder, as participants discover that they have much more in common than they previously knew. Trivia brings up stored common knowledge to trigger increased conversation among group members..

The next step toward achieving breakthrough thinking is to focus the now ‘warmed-up’ participants on the task at hand. Setting clear goals is essential. It is best to use this process for one specific goal. If there are multiple goals that cannot be combined into one major goal, then it is best to create a separate process for each desired significant outcome. Once a group is warmed up and focused on their task, the road to breakthrough thinking moves directly toward asking incisive questions about the desired goal. The art of asking good questions is a fundamental phase of breakthrough thinking, as asking better questions leads to better results. This is a lesson learned from the presentation of a trivia game show, as the key to the success of such a show is predicated on choosing questions that appeal to each audience. It is also a proven fact that good questions help direct goal-oriented individuals and groups to focus and proceed more effectively. The brainstorming process enters during the question phase, as prospective questions should be posed freely at first, with no judgment. From an initially large number of questions, a few key questions will arise. Focusing on the best questions will begin to galvanize participants and further strengthen team spirit. Those questions in turn lead to another round of brainstorming which search for a solution to the goal or problem presented.

Embracing the concept of transformational play and choosing trivia as a seminal activity can lead businesses and organizations to overcome difficult challenges and achieve superior results. Repeated use of this process will also help to build a healthier corporate culture. This process applies to any organization desirous of creating breakthroughs.
Why not make your path to success an enjoyable one!