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Good friends, the beauty of Whistler, BC, amazing weather, and the Fall  harvest of root vegetables--who could ask for more? Our vacation was just perfect.

One evening my good friend Gena and I decided beets would make a great vegetable for dinner. 

 fall-harvest

Fall Harvest

Gena asked me to "peel the beets." Peel the beets? All my life I've watched my parents steam or boil beets, let them cool, and then the peels fall off. No surprise this is my habit too.  

It had never occurred to me there are other ways to remove the skins off of beets. I found myself stuck in a comfortable habit--my status quo. We all have them. Organizations have lots of them.

Here's a super lateral thinking tool to help you systematically escape the status quo--Do a, WHY? B. B stands for because--all the reasons for doing something or why the thing exists. It's very powerful and supports deep learning, an important element of creative thinking.  

Let's do a "Why? B" on boiling beets to remove the beet skins.   

  1. Ask the question: "Why do I remove the skins off of beets by boiling or steaming them first?"
  2. Answer the question listing all the reasons. Keep asking "Why else?" until you run out of reasons.  
    • It's the method my parents used.
    • I've used the same method for years.
    • I've never seen anyone use a different method.
    • The method works.
    • It's easy. You just put the beets in a pot of water.
  3. As you see the list of reasons, you will likely start to think of other alternatives, ideas, ways, solutions. Ask, "how else could I remove the skin off of beets?" Make a list of alternatives.
    • Peel the beets with a potato peeler. 
    • Research kitchen tools to see if a beet peeler exists.
    • Use a paring knife.  
    • Get someone else to peel the beats.
    • Try an apple peeler to see if it works on beets.
    • Roast or grill the beets, cool and hopefully the skins fall off.   
Add "Why? B" to your toolkit and pull it out whenever you want to challenge the status quo. Your mind will get busy and take you to new possibilities. When we understand all the reasons why we do something, it's often easier to move forward to new possibilities.

LIFT Your Thinking ... until next time.

©Lynda Curtin, The Opportunity Thinker. Book Lynda to speak at your next event. Call 818-507-6055 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.