Possibility Thinking: The Essential Tool For Shaping Tomorrow

To thrive in an ever-changing world, be a possibility thinker. This isn’t just about being optimistic; it’s about actively looking for positives, possibilities, and potential in every situation BEFORE walking that back and considering problems, risks, and challenges. Ask “What could possibly go right?” first!

Are you a possibility thinker?

A few weeks ago, I was driving my Mum and Dad somewhere, and we had stopped at traffic lights. My dad, who’s in his mid-eighties now, turned to me and said:

“You know what? I think AI would be really good for managing and controlling traffic lights. AI would be able to monitor traffic all around an area and then control the traffic lights to optimise traffic flow.”

Another family story … Last week, I took my nineteen-year-old niece and her boyfriend out to dinner, and we were chatting about university experiences. When I told them my university thesis (more than 30 years ago!) was about AI, she laughed and said, “Oh, that’s so funny!” I asked why, and she replied:

“Well, 30 years ago, you wrote a thesis about AI. Now, AI could write your thesis!”

(I think she was only half-joking!)

My dad in his eighties and my niece who’s not yet 20 have two things in common: They are both possibility thinkers.

They are thinking about AI in different ways (and not from conversations with me, but their own experience and exploration), and both considering its potential.

This doesn’t apply only to AI. It applies to any technology, any innovation, any big change. You can be a possibility thinker and look at possibility and opportunity, or you could look at risks, problems, challenges, and limitations.

Both are important, but look at possibility first.

Rather than starting with the question:

“What could possibly go wrong?”

ask the opposite question:

“What could possibly go right?”

That way, you’ll be thinking big first and then walking it back if necessary. That’s better than the other way around, which tends to constrain your thinking.

If you want to be future-ready, build a possibility thinker mindset.

For more, download my worksheet here for a team activity that promotes and builds this mindset.


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