There is a big home building company in Australia. Their time to build a house was 120 days. My friend, Michael, was running an executive off site planning session with them. He said to the team “how do we build the house in 10 days”? To which they predictably said ‘it couldn’t be done’. Michael’s response was:
“Look I know it can’t be done. But hypothetically, if it could be done – what would need to change, stop, start, alter, redo, different system, different process, moons aligned, different whatever to make it close to hitting 10 days”?
So in the unrealistic hypothetical world they brainstormed and Michael wrote many ideas on the flip chart paper.
After 2 hours he simply said – just go and do that!
And they did implement most of it – the weather out of their control. They didn’t hit 10 but they did hit 42. A massive change in customer experience, cash-flow, sales – everything.
They had constraints in the real world but once they got into the hypothetical world they opened their minds and got a different solution.
The world record for building a house is 2 hrs and 52 minutes. Check it out.