Read FIRST LINES from A More Beautiful Question – The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas
By Warren Berger
Contents include: Introduction; 1. The Power of Inquiry; 2. Why We Stop Questioning; 3. The Why, What If, and How of Innovative Questioning; 4. Questioning in Business; 5. Questioning for Life
As a journalist, I’ve been asking questions my whole professional life. But until a few years ago, I hadn’t thought much about the art or the science of questioning. And I never considered the critical role questioning play in enabling people to innovate, solve problems, and move ahead in their careers and loves.
That changed during my work on a series of articles, and eventually a book, on how designers, inventors, and engineers come up with ideas and solve problems. My research brought me in contact with some of the world’s leading innovators and creative minds. As I looked at how they approached challenges, there was no magic formula, no single explanation, for their success. But in searching for common denominators among these brilliant change-makers, one thing I kept finding was that many of them were exceptionally good at asking questions.
For some of them, their greatest successes—their breakthrough inventions, hot start-up companies, the radical solutions they’d found to stubborn problems—could be traced to a question (or a series of questions) they’d formulated and answered.
I thought this was intriguing, but it only had a small part in the book I was working on, so I tucked the idea away. Subsequently, I began to notice—as is often the case when something has come onto your radar—that questioning seemed to be everywhere I looked. In the business world, for instance, as I interviewed corporate executives for my writing in Harvard Business Review and Fast Company, I found a great deal of interest in questioning. Many businesspeople seemed to be aware, on some level, of a link between questioning and innovation. They understood that great products, companies, and even industries, often begin with a question. It’s well-known that Google, as described by its chairman, is a company that “runs on questions,” and that business stars such as the late Steve Jobs of Apple and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos made their mark by questioning everything.
© 2014 by Warren Berger | Bloomsbury | ISBN 978-1-62040-145-3 (hardback)
You can read selected chapters of A More Beautiful Question on Amazon.