Over the past few years, I’ve been somewhat obsessed with questioning. I wrote a book, “A More Beautiful Question,” on the subject, and I’ve been traveling to companies, schools, and other types of organizations around the U.S. talking about it. I have become convinced that the humble act of asking questions just might be one of the most important—and under-appreciated—skills for learning, development, and leadership.
With that in mind, I thought it might be interesting and worthwhile to try to designate a specific time of year to promote and encourage questioning. Of course, anytime is a good time for asking questions, but now there’s an especially good time: the week of March 11 to 17, otherwise known as “Question Week 2018.”
This week-long event (timed to Einstein’s birthday on March 14) has been organized with help from several partners and fellow champions of questioning, including the Right Question Institute, TeachThought, and Bob Tiede’s “Leading with Questions.”
Here’s how Question Week is designed to work: During this time period, participating companies, organizations, schools, or families across the US are invited to conduct questioning exercises or activities with colleagues, students, friends, family. The results of those activities are then shared on social media, so we can all see the kinds of questions people are asking around the country or even the world (yes, we expect to have participants from far-off places).
There is a website up now – QuestionWeek.com – that provides guidance and suggestions on possible questioning exercises or activities that participants can do. There are tips specifically for schools, parents, organizations, businesses, or anyone that wants to participate. You can follow the suggestions and guidelines or do something different – as long it is question-related, it qualifies as a Question Week activity.
Also during that week, various special events are planned to discuss the importance and the power of questioning. Visitors to the Question Week website will discover how “beautiful questions” have changed the world around us; they’ll also learn how to ask better questions themselves. And everyone will be encouraged to share their questions on the site, as well as on Twitter and Facebook.
If all goes as planned, we’ll have lots of schools – of all different types – conducting fun questioning activities, then sharing it all on social media (#QuestionWeek). The goal is to flood the Internet with questions!
And in the process, I hope to generate at least a bit more awareness and momentum around the importance of good questioning. Along with Bob Tiede and my other partners on this project, I invite “Leading with Questions” readers to visit the Question Week site and think about how you might participate when the time comes. And please spread the word about Question Week!
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