The value of information is dropping. Known answers are easily accessible and search engines, like Google and YouTube, provide knowledge and information in seconds. To cut through the >1 billion webpages and >1.2 trillion searches per year we need a question.
People are born to inquire and to discover. Between two to five years old a child asks 40,000 questions.
Then we are taught to stop asking, stop seeking, and stop inquiring.
Questions fuel curiosity.
Warren Berger’s new book, A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas is an inquiry on inquiry. As the outline shows, this is much more than a management or business book:
- The Power of Inquiry
- Why We Stop Questioning
- The Why, What If, and How of Innovative Questioning
- Questioning in Business
- Questioning for Life
I found my way to this book from my Amazon.com’s Recommendations for You list. As an Appreciative Inquiry practitioner I know that every question presents a direction. The challenge is to craft a question that invites participation into what could be.
Discovery starts with a question and so far, here are some choice points and quotes:
Seems the concern is more about the answer and we have lost the patience for questions.
within the business sector, I found few companies that actually encouraged questioning in any substantive way….many companies— whether consciously or not— have established cultures that tend to discourage inquiry in the form of someone’s asking, for example, Why are we doing this particular thing in this particular way?
Driven by fear to have an answer, any answer, causes people to preempt the other’s belief that we do not know.
questions challenge authority and disrupt established structures, processes, and systems, forcing people to have to at least think about doing something differently. To encourage or even allow questioning is to cede power —not something that is done lightly in hierarchical companies or in government organizations, or even in classrooms, where a teacher must be willing to give up control to allow for more questioning.
A view of the future starts with a current question.
Innovation can not exist without questions.
From the board room to a bored room, there is much to gain from A More Beautiful Question.
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See a more current set of books on my reading list heavy rotation page.
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