Talk to the world’s most creative problem-solvers and they will often tell you that asking the right questions led them to discover their most valuable innovations and continues to fuel positive change in their companies today.
Take the social entrepreneur who created GoldieBlox, Debbie Sterling, who wondered, “Why are all the great building toys made for boys?” Or, consider Nobel laureate Richard Thaler, who questioned, “Would it change economic theory if we stopped pretending people were rational?” Marc Benioff launched Salesforce with a query, “Why are we still loading and upgrading software when we have the internet?” that created cloud-based software services. And Rod Drury, founder of Xero, routinely asks, “What is the exact opposite of what an incumbent would expect us to do?” to challenge the industry.
Great questions like these have a catalytic quality—that is, they dissolve barriers to creative thinking and channel the pursuit of solutions into new, accelerated pathways. Asking such questions is essential in today’s world where globalization, digitization, and disruption push leaders to the edge of uncertainty and force them to figure out what they don’t know they don’t know – before it’s too late. Decades ago Peter Drucker grasped this truth when wisely warning that the “important and difficult job is never to find the right answers, it is to find the right question. For there are few things as useless, if not dangerous, as the right answer to the wrong question.” This is especially true in our times of radical transformation.
In this new program, Questions are the Answer, Hal Gregersen and Roger Lehman deliver unique insights into the behaviors of extraordinary leaders and the unique conditions they created at work and in life to ask catalytic, game-changing questions. Course discussions and practical applications draw on interviews with several hundred business leaders during the past decade, including research studies conducted specifically for Gregersen’s newest book, Questions Are the Answer: A Breakthrough Approach to Your Most Vexing Problems at Work and in Life.
Through engaging discussion and active challenge-driven exercises, you will learn conceptual frameworks and behavioral habits for cultivating an inquiry-driven approach to leadership and life. These same methodologies will also help you overcome the natural challenges of isolation as a senior leader and help you uncover your greatest blindspots—what you don’t know you don’t know. Drawing from the successful approaches of companies like Amazon, ASOS, Patagonia, Pixar, and Zappos, you will learn how to create the special conditions for curiosity, inquiry, and “creative friction” to thrive and to fuel productive change in your organization. Come ready to make progress on a real challenge you face and leave prepared to lay the foundation for truly catalytic questions to fuel greater success at work, and perhaps in life.