I recently learned about the technique on a training course.
So what do you do if you get stuck on a problem, risk or issue? First you reverse it. For example, "how can I manage my project team less effectively".
Next brainstorm how you can solve your reverse problem. For example:
- Only communicate via email;
- Adopt an unapproachable attitude to my team members;
- Only worry about my own tasks and not supporting my team.
Once you finish your brainstorm, reverse the solutions you came up with:
- Communicate through a range of different methods, including face-to-face meetings;
- Adopt a 'open door' policy and always make time for my team and addressing their concerns;
- Actively support the team in achieving our project goal.
Generally, people find it easier to think about what they shouldn't do, and not what they should.
It's a good technique when you are having difficulty finding a solution to a problem, because it encourages indirect thinking.
Useful or not? Let me know what you think.