According to George Bernard Shaw, ‘Some see things as they are and ask ‘Why? Some see things that never were and ask ‘Why not?’

Innovators ask both.

Consider Australia’s current approach to asylum seekers; let’s start asking WHY.

WHY do they leave their countries? All sorts of reasons: war, persecution, famine, disaster, terrorism or religious extremism… take your pick.

WHY do they come here? Because we’re one of the countries that sign international agreements to accept refugees, which means that (at least on paper) we’re happy for people to come here.

So WHY do we then lock them up? Maybe we’re upset because they’ve bypassed our system and ‘jumped our queues’. Maybe it’s because we’re worried some of them might be dangerous. And it might also be that our processes are too bureaucratic, too inflexible and way too slow.

And to make things worse, it’s a political thing.

Of course, this only scratches the surface of the issue but already there’s a lot here that needs to be questioned. So let’s start asking WHY NOT.

WHY NOT speed up our processes?
WHY NOT process refugees in communities, rather than in detention?
WHY NOT allow them access to our health and education systems?
WHY NOT welcome them into the culture they might one day become part of?
WHY NOT go get them and bring them here ourselves?

This is how innovators think: they ask WHY to learn How Things Are… and ask WHY NOT to imagine What Could Be.

Put the two together and anything is possible.

Avatar photo

Written by Jason Clarke

Twitter LinkedIn

Celebrated author, adventurer, gold medal Olympian and popular TV chef; Jason is none of these things. He is, however, one of the most sought-after creative minds in the country. As founder of Minds at Work, he’s helped people ‘think again’ since the end of the last century, working with clients across Australia in virtually every industry and government sector on issues ranging from creativity and trouble shooting to culture change and leadership.