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The Power of Good Questions for Innovation

Over the month of February, we posted several blogs focusing on how we can ask better questions. The first one covered coworkers and friends, with a second one tackling how to ask better questions of your partner. For the last installment in our February series, we have another round-up of great videos and articles that give direct tips on what you can change when you ask questions.

World-Class Questions

As we showed in our last blog, experts have outlined that often the way we pose a question is far more important than the answer. And you need only look at science to understand that idea a bit better. As this great TedX Talk explains, some unsolved questions in science, philosophy, mathematics, and humanities are considered to be “better” than others. And that is largely due to the fact that these world-class questions have spawned years of study, investment, and much more. The Ted Talk gives some great advice, too, on how you can create and ask better questions in your own personal and work endeavors.

Questions for Innovation

group of business people gathered behind a computer screen

Asking smart questions is also a key hallmark of innovators. As this article lays out, we ask lots of questions as children as we attempt to understand the whys of the world. But we tend to lose that unending desire to understand things as we grow older, though we certainly don’t have to! It’s possible to keep learning and inspiring just by asking more thoughtful and open-ended questions.

Warren Berger, via this article in Inc, also lays out why questions are important to innovation in business, too: “When so much information is readily available to anyone online, the key to innovation is not gathering more data but rather asking more questions–the ambitious, frame-changing sort that send companies down unexpected paths of inquiry.” This article does a great job of laying out the important questions to ask when innovation is at stake and even draws direct links between important questions that were asked and new companies that came about to solve those questions. Innovation can be just the right question away!

If you have a meeting coming up and you want to know how to inject it with more innovative possibilities, this article lists questions that are open-ended and get people thinking. Breaking questions into important categories, there’s something for everyone who is tackling a work/business problem or just looking for more creative solutions.

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