Question Week 2019: A Time for Asking

Note from Bob:  I am privileged to join these terrific Question Week Partners to promote Question Week 2019!   We all thank Warren Berger for his leadership in bringing us all together to Celebrate Question Week 2019!

Guest Post by Warren Berger

Have you heard? March 11 through 17 (surrounding the anniversary of Einstein’s birthday on March 14th) is “Question Week.”

Which may immediately raise questions such as, What’s Question Week? And why should I care?

First, a bit of context: Since my first book on questioning, A More Beautiful Question, came out a few years ago, I’ve been traveling around to businesses, schools, government agencies, and various other organizations, to make the case for the value of asking questions. I’ve continued that discussion with the recent launch of my second book on the subject, The Book of Beautiful Questions. As I discuss in my talks, questioning is often the starting point of innovation, learning, and growth. It’s an incredibly valuable yet underappreciated tool.

Most people I talk to tend to agree with this premise about the importance of questioning. But one big challenge that people mention is time. It takes time to stop “doing” and start questioning. Asking thoughtful, meaningful, “beautiful” questions—whether it’s about our businesses, our jobs, our children’s education, our higher calling, or just about any aspect of our lives—may require that we slow down and step back. It’s a process that calls for reflection, analysis, incubation of ideas. And for many of us living fast-paced lives, there simply is no place in the schedule set aside for “questioning.”

Hence, Question Week—with the idea being, if there’s a period of time designated for questioning, maybe we’ll use that opportunity to try to do more of it. And maybe in the process, we’ll discover that questioning really is a useful and powerful thing that we should be doing all year-round.

In organizing this mini-movement, I gathered together a few fellow champions of questioning—individuals or organizations (such as the Right Question Institute, as well as Bob Tiede of Leading With Questions) that are leading the way in encouraging people to ask more questions. You can get to know a little bit about each of these questioning advocates on the Question Week site:  QuestionWeek.com

Over the past couple of years, Question Week has really caught on in schools around the country (and even as far away as China!). If you’re a teacher, school administrator, or parent, and you’d like your school or class to participate, check out the Question Week site for some tips on how to conduct question-based activities and exercises. The site also has a number of articles and posts explaining why questioning is so important; why and how we should be emphasizing student questioning more in classrooms; and stories about the power of “beautiful questions” to transform our lives and the world around us.

But this is aimed at more than students. I also think businesses and individuals in all walks of life should be asking questions and now is a good time to start. If you want to take part in Question Week, start by visiting the site to learn more. You can also contribute to this awareness effort by spreading the word about Question Week and urging others to take some time this week to ask questions. And take the opportunity during the week of March 11 to formulate some beautiful questions of your own (and share them with friends, family, colleagues, or with the world, via social media—I’m using the hashtag #QuestionWeek on Twitter).

Hope to see some great questions from you in the coming days!

Warren Berger

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Warren Berger has studied hundreds of the world’s leading innovators, entrepreneurs and creative thinkers to learn how they ask questions, generate original ideas, and solve problems. His writing and research on questioning and innovation have appeared in Fast Company, Harvard Business Review and Wired.   His website is AMoreBeautifulQuestion.com  His new book is “The Book of Beautiful Questions.” 

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