Asking Questions

The Question That Will Change Your Organization – Polly LaBarre – Harvard Business Review

“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.

  1. Questions are a powerful antidote to hubris.
  2. The best questions are the bedrock of all change and creativity.
  3. 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.

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