Question WeekNote from Bob:  My friend Warren Berger is today’s Guest Post Author and the host of this week’s “Question Week” of which LeadingWithQuestions.com is honored to be a “Question Week Partner.”  Warren is the author of “A More Beautiful Question”

 Guest Post by Warren Berger

Have you heard?  Starting yesterday, March 8 and culminating with the anniversary of Einstein’s birthday on March 14, 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 book, A More Beautiful Question, came out a year 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. 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. And it’s one that may be more important than ever in these times of dynamic change—which require us to adapt, reinvent, and rethink, often by way of inquiry.

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, 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—organizations or individuals (such as the Right Question Institute, Ask Big Questions, Bob Tiede of LeadingWithQuestions.com, and others) 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.

For those interested in picking up some questioning skills (or sharpening the ones you already have), QuestionWeek.com also features a number of easy questioning exercises you can try; my hope is that these will be used, during the week and thereafter, in classrooms and workplaces. There are also a number of articles and posts explaining why questioning is so important in business; 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.

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. Above all, take the opportunity in coming days 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). Hopefully, some of the questions you think about in the next few days will stay with you and inspire you long after Question Week has ended.

WarrenBerger-aMoreBeautifulQuestionWarren 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

 

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