For almost twenty years, I have refined a systematic approach to uncovering the right questions—those that start to unlock entirely different solutions and perspectives—with hundreds of teams around the world, from the C-suite to the shop floor. The method, which I now call Catalytic Questioning, incorporates five simple, unconventional steps to help change our questions—and creatively solve significant problems both in our personal and professional lives:
Becoming a Question Catalyst
At a recent World Economic Forum workshop, this five-step Catalytic Questioning process took 24 minutes. It rapidly engaged the group, turbocharged a subsequent brainstorming session (conducted right after by Tim Brown from IDEO), and helped identify several intriguing new areas of potential industry disruption. During the debrief, most participants agreed that asking nothing but questions was a surprisingly powerful tool for revealing innovative solutions. They left the session highly energized to become even better question catalysts within their everyday work.
Across the globe, I have seen the same process—and success—occur with thousands of executives and entrepreneurs, including Ahmet Bozer, president of Coca-Cola International, who realized, “if your questioning muscles have atrophied, it’s time to start exercising those muscles.” Catalytic Questioning ensures this essential leadership skill improves over time to unlock even better, more creative solutions. What you discover in this questioning quest might not only surprise you, but may also unearth an entirely new direction for your team, organization, or career.
Copyright: Hal Gregersen