radical Insights.

Weekly Research and Commentary on the Future of Business and Technology.

Brainstorming is Dead, Long Live Question-Storming — and Learnings from Disruptors.

Jan 31, 2022

Dear Friend,

With the first month of another strange year coming to an end, we have been busy with launching our Disrupt Disruption Program and revamping our consulting offering. We’d love to work with you on either one of these — and of course on our FutureFWD Program or a keynote. Just drop us an email.

And now… Another packed briefing for you:


Matthew Ström’s blog post “Stop brainstorming” is currently making the rounds. It is a succinct reminder that brainstorming, well, doesn’t work and is simply best avoided. This is particularly true when one thinks about the future — the reason we don’t do “brainstorms” in any of our sessions or consulting engagements. As the future is inherently unknown (and partially unknowable), and as Warren Berger, author of one of our favorite books “A More Beautiful Question”, reminds us that the value of a discreet answer in an uncertain world diminishes, while the value of a good question increases, we love to, instead, run a question generating session. And as the last sentence was rather long — here are our suggestions on how to run one of these sessions yourself.

Disrupt Disruption

Allow us a little dig for our stuff: We now published more than 30 interviews with some of the most amazing people on the forefront of innovation and disruption — the people Andy Billings, Head of Creative Profitability at gaming giant Electronic Arts described as “the people on the front lines, who will tell you that disruption doesn’t look like what it is being described as in the books.” From Gisbert Rühl, who turned Europe’s largest steel company into a digital powerhouse, Maurice Conti, former head of moonshots at Telefonica Alpha, to Hannah Tucker, who is reinventing the food system, and Alice Casiraghi, who is creating the circular economy — the podcast is chockfull of insights and griping stories from the trenches of disruption. Listen in — and if you know someone we ought to talk to, please connect us!

What We Are Reading

🏋️‍♀️ When Lower Intensity Leads to Higher Results What intensity level do you work at? What intensity level do you think is good for effectiveness? Learn more about the benefit of lower and consistent intensity. Just like elite athletes, training over the long term produces exceptional results. JaneRead

🎉 Celebrate to Win It’s important to celebrate accomplishments. It serves as an important opportunity to cement the lessons learned on the path to achievement, and to strengthen the relationships between people that make future achievement more plausible. MafeRead

🔭 Choosing Your North Star Metric Measuring the right thing(s) is critical to understanding the relationship between your strategy and your execution of that strategy. Lenny Rachitsky offers a useful framework for thinking about your most important metric. JeffreyRead

🏛 What are DAOs, or decentralised autonomous organisations? It shows what democratic handling of money might look like. One can look for parallels and differences from this new crypto approach to how things are regularly run. It’s not one on one but maybe not too different. JulianRead

⚕️Once billed as a revolution in medicine, IBM’s Watson Health is sold off in parts The spectacular rise and fall of IBM’s Watson AI is a good lesson in “not getting tied up in the hype” – or: What works for Jeopardy, doesn’t necessarily work for other domains. PascalRead

Internet Finds

A rave in the metaverse! Exciting… NOT! 🕺

In Case You Missed It

🏴‍☠️ The Heretic: The 60/20/20 Rule for the Future (And Running Your Business)

⚠️ Disrupt Disruption: Explore the future of manufacturing, how to build a manufacturing company from the ground up, and the disruptive nature of 3D printing ten years after the initial hype with Samantha Snabes, cofounder of additive manufacturing company re:3D in our latest Disrupt Disruption podcast.

Radically yours, take good care, friend!

— Pascal, Mafe and the three Js (Jane, Jeffrey, and Julian)