Long story short, it’s through thinking creatively through great frameworks.
A frameworks is an organized way to breakdown a complex question.
Contrary to common intuition, constraints create creativity.
(I couldn’t resist the alliteration.)
For example, if I ask you to come up with a new recipe on the spot, you’ll likely find it much more challenging than if I asked you to create a dish for my pescatarian friend with only basil, shrimp, flour, and spaghetti.
Having a specific framework to think through helps you be more creative.
One of the core frameworks is an issue tree.
Here’s a great resource to dive into issue trees in more depth.
To summarize, issues trees can be any kind of tree you want! A problem tree, a how tree, a solution tree, or maybe a why tree!
But how does Elon Musk come into all of this?
Elon frequently starts with a problem and then dives deep into the possibilities to solve it.
Another item worth mentioning when going through frameworks is MECE (Mutually Exclusive – each “part” is different/independent from each other & Collectively Exhaustive –every “part” of the problem is here).
This helps you have a holistic approach to the problem, and generate some great ideas, like Elon Musk.