I recently finished a book dedicated to asking questions, how that may drive outcomes, better answers and provoke thought. “A More Beautiful Question” by Warren Burgen
He covers stimulating thought around several different topics, but the three that resonated the most for me were, Asking yourself a question before sleeping, asking the wrong question, and only ever asking questions.
Asking yourself a question and mulling it over for 10 minutes before retiring for the night, he suggests creates a method of subconscious thought while you rest. The purpose is to have some more questions and maybe solutions when you rise in the morning. I found this to be very true for myself and noticed in retrospect that when I do have a challenging question and working on that before sleeping, I wake up earlier in the morning, having had less time of sleep but generally more refreshed and ready to move with more purpose. I noticed that when I have no question I tend to sleep longer but awake less refreshed!
Asking the wrong question: a very simple example he uses is when someone asked the question, “why do we have to wear socks that match?” That question was the start of a business that now sells unmatched sock and the craze amongst younger people has grown this business to over several million dollars.
Another more serious question was why an amputee can’t paint pictures? The outcome was a special pair of glasses that captured blinking and was able to turn that signal into an art form.
Have you ever asked a question and someone said that will never work, or that’s a silly question? In my improvement world, I ask questions all the time and even supposedly wrong questions can drive thought and outcomes if truly given their value as a good question.
Finally, only ever ask questions. Now for me, I ask many, many questions and try not to jump to conclusions about the answer. Eventually, however, answers or outcomes need to be found, but asking more and more is similar to the 5 Whys approach to find the root cause.
If you have never tried this you should, you can have fun doing at the same time.
© 2016 By Steve Wardleworth (Wardleworth Consulting LLC) All rights reserved