Turn contradictions into insights

Contradictions are signs that something is refusing to fit into our mental model of the world. Maybe our theories are wrong or we’re relying on weak assumptions. Either way this is good news if we’re trying to innovate and do something different. So don’t ignore contradictions when you find them, use them in one of two ways:

  • Option 1: Rewrite the current theory or explanation.
  • Option 2: Find and replace a weak assumption with a better one.

Download either of these worksheets to help you get the most out of contradictions in your project:

There are worked-through examples, showing you how to use the sheets here:

Credit: Gary Klein’s book on expert intuition is an excellent starting point on how contradictions bring us insights.