How Might We?
How might we (or HMW)? A design thought-process that should infect all industries. This approach was first brought to my attention by Tim Brown, the CEO of IDEO, a global design consultancy. Since then, I have considered this approach when beginning all design/creative projects and even working through life challenges.
The question is first broken down into individual words:
How. The word How lets us know that there is a possible solution to what we’re trying to accomplish. It instills confidence in the process and tells us that there will be a positive outcome to our project.
Might. The most powerful word of the bunch in my opinion, as it suggests that we aren’t focusing on previously conceived concepts. Words such as “should” or “can” are often used in the place of “might” and accidentally suggest a lack of confidence. The word “might” instills a confidence that it’s going to be okay if ideas aren’t necessarily possible. In my experience the most ridiculous ideas thrown out in a brainstorming session never work. BUT, 90 percent of the time those ideas lead to the discussion of the one that does.
We. Teamwork. This means that there is collaboration involved. We are working on this together. Encouraging each other and keeping each other grounded when necessary. Everyone on the project is working toward the same goal.
Three simple words that, when put together, are extremely powerful. You may have used this approach before without even realizing it. Next time, purposely see what you might do and see what happens.
What are words you live by? Whether it’s a personal or professional statement, I want to know what you’re all about. Have you used HMW before? What happened? Let us know in the comments.