What if the key to everything you needed to spark innovation, creativity, growth and results in your business was something you did naturally as a child? I have just finished Warren Berger’s book, A More Beautiful Question. It turns out that the tool we have hard-wired from childhood—the ability to engage in inquiry-is more powerful than we have imagined.
The book is chock full of stories from businesses who have used the simplicity of inquiry to create true breakthroughs. For example, “why should you be stuck without a bed if I’ve got an air mattress?” This question led to AirBnb’s $10 billion valuation. Or consider “why do we have to wait so long for the picture, daddy?” This one led to the creation of the Land Polaroid camera. Or finally, “why can’t we paint over our mistakes?” This inquiry led a secretary to become a millionaire after she explored using “paint” to go over her typing mistakes at work.
The Answer is Questions
In addition to compelling case histories, Berger has created a formula for inquiry that can be used in all aspects of business and life: “Why, What If, and How?” By opening up to the possibility these questions afford, we create the potential for discovery of entirely new territory.
This has much in common with how we work as coaches. The coaching perspective is that the client has the resources within to create and achieve their desires. Our job is to facilitate discovery by asking powerful questions; not by providing answers or opinions.
I get to experience first-hand the transformational force that beautiful questions can offer. As leaders, we can all develop and invite this capacity; in ourselves and in those with whom we work. Focus on this as a culture, and nothing will ever be “same old” again.
What is your beautiful question that if you could answer it would make a real difference?
I invite you to post your question here. To participate in learning the value of inquiry or to develop this so you can lead others, I invite you to schedule a Discovery Breakthrough Session here. For a short video about the book, check out: