November 11, 2011 § 1 Comment
“If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask, for once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes.” Albert Einstein
Polly LaBarre has a wonderful piece published on the Harvard Business Review Network about asking powerful questions. She identifies questions as a potent antidote to hubris “which inevitably arises in a culture that celebrates mastery, values decisiveness, and reveres the top guy (or gal).” That resonates like a Tibetan temple bell struck on a Winter morning. I live in such a culture where answers are valued more than questions.
- Questions are a powerful antidote to hubris.
- The best questions are the bedrock of all change and creativity.
- Asking good questions trades control for contribution.
The timing of her piece coincides impeccably with my growing interest in Appreciate Inquiry as a methodology for change with Microsoft and an antidote for a culture that celebrates mastery more than inquiry.