The Inspiration Behind My “Questioning” Quest

question-markIn conducting research for my trilogy of books, including “The Innovator’s DNA,” “Leading Strategic Change,” and “Global Explorers”, I have had the privilege of speaking to some of the most renowned leaders of our time – from P&G’s A.G. Lafley to Amazon’s Jeff Bezos. From this research, it became clear that in addition to observing, associating, experimenting and networking (what co-authors Clayton Christensen and Jeff Dyer call “discovery skills” in “The Innovator’s DNA”), a leader’s ability to ask the right question is imperative to unlocking new solutions – in business and in life. However, it takes a great leader to understand the value of – and have the ability to – teach others to do the same.

To help organizations and leaders do to just this, I’ve developed several methodologies, including my five-step Catalytic Questioning process. Implemented at workshops around the world, from World Economic Forum to Coca-Cola International, this strategic alternative to traditional brainstorming has proven successful in helping teams unearth entirely new solutions for the road ahead. Other methodologies, including asking questions just 4 minutes every 24-hours to solve your greatest professional and personal challenges, has also given individuals the powerto refine their skills and home in on the question they are living in real time.

The influence of questioning isn’t limited to the here and now. By rekindling the ability to question ourselves, we’re able to instill and encourage this skill in our children, creating the next generation of innovators. Providing a sense of hope and possibility to these children in a world that’s becoming more complex by the moment is perhaps the greatest gift we can give – and the inspiration behind the 4-24 Project.