Are you dismissing your big opportunity? (Freaky Far Out Friday Idea)

The first TED Talk that I chose when launching my mastermind for radical change involved a very bold question.

“How can I get the homeless to run?”

I doubt I would have ever thought of that. By 2014 I had been running for a couple years so I understood the mindset of going for a regular run. Believe me, I wouldn’t have had the same thoughts Anne Mahlum did.

The Cornavirus Shutdown demands we dismiss many opportunities. But are we dismissing our breakthrough idea? In this post we look at ideas you have dismissed and challenge you to reconsider. Maybe this is your breakthrough moment.

While Murfield Coaching works to solve significant business problems with innovative and disruptive thinking, we don’t work with the homeless. Maybe that is why her question was so compelling. You may also appreciate our previous posts on the COVID-19 Pandemic as we address avoiding panic, engaging your team, providing certainty in uncertain times, and establishing your leadership roots.

In her 2013 TEDx Talk in Kansas City, she detailed why so many believed her title, “There is No Way This Will Work.” I wouldn’t have thought it would.

Check out the video and listen to her tell the story. It still makes me smile because it is so far outside of my reality.

You won’t be surprised to learn that YES, it did work. She got the homeless to run and that helped many leave the streets and re-enter society. It worked so well that she started “” They have since expanded into several other cities.

I guess that worked despite her doubts.

Pretty cool, but what does it have to do with business?

Ask the Crazy Question

Too many great business opportunities are ignored because someone (often times us) who doesn’t think there is a solution to the problem. So what do we do? We skip over the problem and ignore it until it becomes too big of a problem. In the meantime, we focus on something that appears more doable.

In the meantime, we miss the opportunity.

But what happens when we ask the crazy question?

You know, that crazy question that is so absurd that we don’t even dare to entertain it. (i.e. “I wonder if I could get the homeless to run?”)

That crazy question is the one that is so far outside of our reality that we can’t imagine where it came from or why it jumped into our minds.

Anyone who is experienced in brainstorming knows that the crazy, far out freaky question probably isn’t the solution but it opens the door to the solution.

The crazy question expands our thinking so we can consider what we dismissed as “IMPOSSIBLE.”

Ask Yourself the Crazy Question

Ask yourself the crazy question. It might be phrased in a couple different ways. Either way, think outside that cliche box.

  1. “What would I like to do that I never thought possible?”
  2. “What would happen if I/We did . . . ”

Toss out the absurd question. Don’t dismiss it. Say it out loud. Write it down. Challenge yourself to see if it really is that crazy.

In the process, it might just work. If not, it can very likely get you thinking in a way that leads to the viable solution.

What do you think? Is that sound crazy?

I hope so because innovation begins by asking crazy questions.

My Blog Post Schedule

  • Mind Shift Monday features a powerful quote that sets the tone for a week of innovative thinking.
  • Thinking Bigger Tuesday expands on the topic and provides pillar content of innovative thinking.
  • Why Not Wednesday introduces you to books, articles and research that I have found useful in solving significant problems with innovative thinking.
  • Transformational Thursday explores a TED Talk on the topic of the week. These talks are likely taken from the ones I have featured in my TED Talk Think Tank mastermind for radical change over the last five years.
  • Freaky Far Out Friday features crazy ideas that just might lead to solving your persistent problem.

Learn to Listen Effectively




Loren Murfield, Ph.D.

We work with leaders and organizations to solve significant problems with innovative thinking. What problem is frustrating you? Click here to contact us today.

Here’s a crazy question, how can Compassion be the best business practice that unleashes the ultimate performance, production, and profit? Leading with the Power of Compassion

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