A good question is like a lantern in the darkness. It illuminates unseen landscapes and dimensions and discerns unknown obstacles.
To help companies and organizations create a more beautiful future, I have found that the simple act of asking new questions can be incredibly helpful–and compelling. One of my preferred question-asking techniques is to ask more “personal” questions.
For example, instead of a food retail company asking “How can we increase our quarterly revenues?”, try asking, “How can we improve the life of Stephanie–a single, full-time nurse– as well as the lives of her two teenage children?” The new question can broaden the company’s understanding of its responsibility and, perhaps, highlight an overlooked opportunity.
If you are a not-for-profit focused on homelessness, don’t ask “How do we tackle homelessness?” try asking “How do we assist Roger–a homeless veteran suffering from depression and possessing an outdated set of work skills–lead a life of safety, security, and dignity?” The new question reveals the complexity of the issue in greater detail.
Or, if you are a corporation or environmental organization, don’t ask “How do we fight climate change?” ask “How do we help the one person who will be most adversely affected by the policy changes we want to implement, accept and adapt to these changes?” The new question may illuminate unknown obstacles and barriers, but it could also shine a spotlight on a hidden path forward.
Interested in other question-related posts by Jack Uldrich? Check out these past articles: