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Jumpstart Innovation with Adventurous Thinking

Lesson 14 of 37

Practicing and Pitching Parkour

Sally Dominguez

Jumpstart Innovation with Adventurous Thinking

Sally Dominguez

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Lesson Info

14. Practicing and Pitching Parkour

Lesson Info

Practicing and Pitching Parkour

We're gonna put this into practice, and I need those of you who are here in the room, those of you who are over there to work with me on this. Because you really have to focus and force past your expert brain into the area of what hasn't been done yet. Okay, I need you to feel the difference, the bearable discomfort. It's quite exhilirating as you can see, 'cause I love it. Okay, so I'm gonna use this bit of paper here to show you how we're gonna invert. And I want us try a couple of examples. I'm gonna start, I did selling the house, I'm gonna start with one that we've used in class when looking at drought in California a couple of times. Pretty interesting. So let's nuance it a little bit. Let's say as an action, and while I'm doing this as an example, have a think about what you brought today as an issue. Something you want to work on, or something you do in daily life that we can invert on the spot, because it's an exciting thing. Okay, so say my intent is, I want everybody in a ce...

rtain city, I'm gonna call it San Francisco 'cause I'm right here. I want everyone to have a certain amount of emergency water at their house, because disaster is coming. Let's just say, right? So, I want emergency water, I'm gonna call it E water at every house. Now, forgive me on this one, 'cause I do already have a solution that I'm gonna go to, but I'm still gonna invert it, in case you come up with a better one. So what do we normally do? If am the city and I want all of you to have emergency water stored at your house, what would be the normal thing I would do? Education campaign? So I would educate you, I'd beg you. Incentives? What else, what else would I do? Low cost containers? Yeah, so low cost it? So, rebate it, maybe? Yeah. Yup. What else could I do? I could punish. I could punish you for not having it. Punish. Alright, let's do it. That's enough. Minimum three, up to five, any more than that and it's just like, a soup of possibility. So. Let's go, so: To invert, we're not gonna educate. No education. Okay. No incentives. No rebates. No punishment. Okay, but I still want this. So we're gonna look at that and go, we still have to achieve this thing. Every house has to have this blob storage of water, just in case. We can't do any of that. Can anyone come up with anything? It's hard, right? You're just looking at this, going, That's everything we know how to Like, that's our whole history of understanding how to do stuff, you just killed it. You could steal it. You could steal it. Like, hang on, but if I was the householder I'd have to steal it. That's interesting, Dan said you could steal it, and that comes too. So this group came up with this. They said, "Here's what the city could do: The city could turn off mains water for for hours every day." They could say, "From this hour to this hour, you get no water from us." Maybe it's even six hours. And they would do that for six months. Now, if you knew that your water was gonna be turned off, and you're like, "Are you kidding me? I live in a civilization where I can get water whenever I want. Don't you be telling me my water's turned off!" Then, immediately, what are you gonna do? Store water? You're gonna store water. You're gonna get yourself a barrel, no rebate, no incentive, you're gonna go and get something that stores up to about 200 gallons of water, you're gonna have it on site, you're gonna hook it all up, so that if you want water, you have a right to have water. And all of a sudden, this is done. Right? No one's tried that yet. But it makes sense. You're probably gonna get much more radical uptake of water in every house from turning off the water for a couple of hours every day, and letting people fly and be free in terms of finding a container. You might have some issues with tainted water and bad containers. I'm not gonna lie. But, you get a result. Do you understand how that works for Parkour? Alright. So who has something I can invert? Sherry, I'm pretty sure you have something I can invert. I am looking to do some job hunting. Okay, so you have just graduated Mm-hmm Psychology? So, I'm looking for a job, yep, working in clinical psychology. Okay. So this is a really big one. A lot of people have worked through job change, career change, or graduation. Like, how do we go from this state of knowledge, what we've just learned fresh, we're all keen and eager, into a state of employment. Alright, so Sherry's is Clinical Psychology, I want paid work, right? Mm-hmm. Paid work, I'm just gonna put, can I just put Psych? Yep. Does it have to say clinical? No. Or can I just put C Psych? Yep. Okay, and any specifics around that? You wanna work with older people? Mm-hmm. Yes. Okay. Okay, so, this is beautiful, because it's a really precise thing that we want. The more precise we are, the more precise our norms can be, the more precise our inversions can be, and then we can actually get somewhere with this. So, how (and you guys would always all know), you've just graduated, you wanna get into paid work in your field, what are the norms, what do you do? A lot of people suggest internships. Internship? Okay. That would be, I'm assuming that intern is for free? Mm-hmm. Okay I guess you could also say... Do we look for contacts in that industry? Yes. Yep. We find our contacts, Okay. What else are we gonna do for this? How else are we gonna do it? Guys? Job websites? Yeah, we're gonna look on job websites, so specifically go to job websites. That's industry contacts, sorry. Industry contacts, job websites, Okay. So let's start with that. Pretty classic: Intern for free, find industry contacts, so everything's very relevant, right? We're using a lot of knowledge in this. What people already do. Job sites, everything. Okay, we're gonna invert. Invert. No free work. No freebies. All the companies watching are like, "What?" (laughs) Okay, no industry contacts. We're not looking for that industry at all, so no industry contacts, and I think the industry bit is key, again we have to be really specific. Okay, no industry contacts, and now, no job websites. So, straight away, in bucking the norm, we're not going to the places of information that we would normally just default to. We're not doing what everyone else is doing, that's for sure. Now, bearing in mind, Parkour has a massively high failure rate. What we come up with here is gonna be something brand new. Maybe it won't work, but maybe it's the new thing. 'Cause you could argue that working for free for ages and ages and a bunch of other people working for free isn't necessarily helping you stand out. It's getting you experience, but you have some. Also, you only want to work with older people. So you might also argue that you would compromise that in order to just get any sort of work, which we're not gonna do, but that's a given. We're not compromising. Okay, so, everybody: We want paid work: Clinical Psychology with older people. We're not gonna take a freebie, we're not looking for industry contacts, we're not looking at job sites, but we still want this work. What are we gonna do? It's hard, right? Yes. You could go into a different sort of workplace and implement the clinical psychology? Interesting. So you could find something that does not currently use clinical psychology as any part of what it does, and you could pioneer it. You could champion it into that. That's interesting. Nice job, Jemimah. Okay, so we could pioneer it into an industry that doesn't think it needs it. What else could we do? Yeah. You could go to Sunday Elks Club Bingo and places where seniors frequent, the track, places like that? Yes! And kinda hang out, sort of involve yourself with them, get comfortable, introduce with the families and just, could offer some type of community service, but then they would come to you. That's great. So you could scoop them from a social point. So instead of going to the places that people that need your help are already traditionally gathering, you could go from a social place where there are people who may need your help, and start a whole new way of outreaching. That's awesome. How about that, Sherry, what do we like, think: You'd be great at that. So do you see how this works? What this is doing is throwing us into what hasn't been done yet. But actually, so often, and particularly now, when so much stuff is in flux, so often, these things start making sense really fast. The cool thing about Parkour is: two really unusual facets of it that are kinda miles apart. The first is, it can throw you into new systems, and it can be a real revelation, and of course, as part of that five-lens thing, the multiple intelligences, it sheds an incredible understanding and meaning on whatever it is you're looking at. So you know, often you find other lenses are gonna be more immediately useful, they're gonna deliver you a result, but if we step back, and say, "Creativity and innovation is more about the process and the learning and the curiosity," Then, inverting everything you know about something and trying to look at what that next thing could be is an incredibly fast and revelatory way to look at whatever it is you've been examining. It's an entirely different perspective. But the other facet is, it's also fantastic for team-building. So if you do something that you all do every day in a team, in a friend group, in a family, even, or in a work group, and you decide that for 45 minutes, once a month, you're gonna take one thing that you guys might do really, really well, and, as a team, you're gonna completely disrupt it and turn it on its head. Again, it really helps you understand what it is you're doing, it adds value to what you're doing, because you really get this deep understanding, but it may fling you some extra things that you could do, it may fling you some alternatives, but it's so much fun to disrupt something you know well, that, actually, it delivers you fantastic team-building. So, it's giving people an understanding of what they do every day, but in such a naughty, out of the box way. I remember doing it with this food bar company, and we threw edibles into the mix, because we just did. It was parkour, right? It was, "What don't you normally bake?" (laughs) But, of course, it's becoming legal, and so these guys were all coming out with these fanciful things that, like, in about five years will probably be the norm, but they had such fun doing it that even though their leadership people were like: "No! It's never gonna happen," This whole team bonded, and re-bonded with a whole lot of people that they didn't normally talk to around this crazy premise. So, Parkour can be an amazing team-building thing, and just useful to give you greater understanding. But it can also throw you brand new systems of doing, which is exciting. Alright? However, you have to be able to sell your idea. And you need champions. And of course, if it's completely disruptive, and has never been done before, highly likely that you will encounter people who vehemently disagree with what it is you're trying to get them to do. Am I right? (laughs) People do not like the unknown. We, the adventurous thinkers, think it's awesome, and embrace it. But most people don't, and that's what you're up against, especially if you have to, or most of us are, working with a team, working with other people, trying to sell other people on these crazy ideas that we know are the future. But they don't necessarily know of the future. Now, this book, "The Influential Mind", is one of my favorite books. It's really cast light on so much stuff for me. Particularly found it interesting, you know, being in the USA as an immigrant, and observing the political divide. I found that Tali Sharot, who is English, Neuroscientist, was really interesting in talking about how you can't change people's minds with facts. In fact, she says that "The smarter somebody is, the less likely it is that any sort of fact that they don't agree with will change their mind." I kinda queried that, I'm like, "No, seriously, come on. If somebody tells you," and I thought, "Huh, interesting." She's researched this for years and years and years, and over and over again finds that you can never sway someone based on facts. So, what you have to do is find common emotional ground. So that's an interesting one if you think about how polarized society is at so many levels, and how, you know, you think, "Well how can I find common emotional ground?" So at the risk of upsetting anybody, if you're a failure, it's pretty much zero, (laughs) You know, for instance, gun control. You have some people who desperately want to have guns. You have some people who desperately want them eradicated. Where, possibly, where could the common emotional ground be on that? And yet, if you think about it, the common emotional ground is safety. These people all want their families and loved ones safe. That's all anybody wants. They have totally different ways of coming to that conclusion, but you're all united. Really, that's all anybody wants, is safety. If you look at politics, if you look at people totally attacking at either ends of the political spectrum, which happens on the daily where I live, and I observe it and think, "Look, it's not only happening here, it's all across the world right now, we have very, very polarized political points of view. But say we're all in the one country. What is it that absolutely everybody wants? There's common emotional ground there. Is it we just wanna feel safe? Is it we just need to know that this place will be a great place in 20 years' time for everybody that's coming up through? Like, there are some basic common emotional traits that we all agree on. And it's pretty interesting, once you start thinking about it, you realize that in fact, yeah you could have people in the same room if everyone could agree that these basic things we all want. So we back off from that deep political moment to Parkour again. You may have a crazy idea. Sherry, for instance, may decide that in fact, yeah. She is gonna go into social gatherings of older people, and she's gonna cherry-pick the people she thinks don't yet know that they're ripe for what she can give. She knows she can add value and purpose to them. Right, but Sherry, you're gonna have to convince the people that run those events that you're not just gonna come in scalping. Basically, you've gotta somehow sell what you do to other practitioners who think it's not okay. To the organizations who think they've got this and they don't need your help. So you're gonna have to come up with some sort of common emotional ground. What sort of common emotional ground could you come up? What are we all trying to do if we have clinical psychology, and older people? What is it that everybody within that realm is trying to achieve? Their wants? Everyone wants their parents and their grandparents to feel emotionally secure, they don't want them to be anxious, they want them to be happy, Yeah. And they want them to feel like their life has meaning and purpose. Yeah, they want well-being. They just want well-being for the older people, they want them to feel fulfilled, I guess, right? And so once you have that as the common ground, you have the language, and you can find points of agreement. You know, I'm gonna do that, you do that, and the end result is, if these things come together, then we are emotionally fulfilled and everybody is as well as they can be. Interesting. How about my scenario with the water? I'm trying to get all these homeowners, I'm gonna tell them I'm turning off their water for five hours a day. They're not happy. Where's my common emotional ground? How am I gonna sell them on it? Help me out here. Tough love. I still think it's a really good idea, it's tough love! You need this! Right? It's even more than, like, "we really need you to have this because things might go down," They don't wanna hear the facts about how we have an aging infrastructure that's gonna crack at any minute, and one little tiny seismic event is gonna crack everything open, they don't wanna hear that. The lakes are gonna drain? They just wanna know that in any event, they've got this little nugget of water sitting there that's just for them, right? Security. It usually does come down to security, well-being, purpose, security, right? So, When you're trying to flog one of these ideas, when you're trying to sell to the masses, or just to your company, or just to your friends, or maybe to a backer an idea that has never been done before, and that goes for any of these lenses, you have to find common emotional ground. Because the business plan is not gonna back it up, right? You can't say, in TV they used to always say to me after my invention show finished, they'd say, "Oh, well, you know we need a new invention show." It's gotta be the new Master Chef, everything's gotta be, In Australia it was Master Chef. All these chefs would come in and they'd cook under pressure, and judges would then judge their food. And it was such a massive success in Australia, I think you have it here now. Such a massive success, that from then on every new TV program had to be that format. You had to be the Master Chef, right? Inventions don't really work like that. Inventions don't work so well under pressure unless you're me, maybe Dan, my next guest probably does, but most people don't, and I was, like, "The Master Chef model don't work for inventors," right? But people want to see a model on something they know. You can't show them that with a new system. You just can't, you're gonna be the first to do it. But what you can do is understand at a human level what your common emotional ground is.

Class Description

The rise of design thinking has revolutionized the way we solve problems—helping us open our minds, embrace our imaginations and be more innovative. But what if we could take the design thinking process to an even higher level? What if we could be less reactive and more proactive in our thinking?

Award-winning inventor, journalist, educator and speaker Sally Dominguez created the adventurous thinking methodology to promote an agile mindset, which is necessary for consistently innovative practices. Even the best of us can get stuck in our default “expert” neural pathways. Adventurous thinking helps us get out of those ruts, reignite our curiosity and tap into the underutilized parts of our brains.

This two-day course introduces the Five Lenses—negative space, parkour, thinking sideways, thinking backwards and rethinking—which Sally has used to help some of the biggest corporations, organizations and government agencies throughout the world integrate innovation into their work. By the end, you’ll have the tools you need to transform your thought processes and explore true innovation.

In this class, you’ll learn how to:

  • Harness your curiosity to think outside the probable and explore the possible.
  • Use multiple perspectives to achieve a deeper understanding.
  • Experience “bearable discomfort” to force your neural pathways to open up.
  • Disregard small daily failures at home and at work.
  • Get your radical ideas accepted by others.
  • Know what you don’t want and why that’s important.


Ivana Vucinic

This class is truly AMAZING! It is really unique and it got me thinking in new and innovative ways. Very much out of the box thinking! Makes you become courageous, Well done, Sally!!!

Sukey Dominguez

Jumpstart Innovation with Adventurous Thinking exceeded my expectations! Sally brought practical tools that, "lenses" to flip every situation inside out and find the possibilities in every situation. As one who works to lead teams, healthcare providers facing incredible demands to achieve results in population health / ultimately global health and the wellness of business operations, I'm thrilled to have found this course. Design is one thing, taking risk is another. I'm inspired by Sally because she drives energy to see what CAN be in the future. This is a unique class and I look forward to her next offering.