Think in Questions
This Domain-Level Guide is designed to be used based on the Core Model. Please refer to the Think in Questions Core Practice before exploring this guide.
In many professional activities, you are called to provide answers. Questions are often perceived as the “the problem,” and knowing is always better than wondering. When you realize that asking questions is how your brain aims to explore new possibilities and have new creative discoveries, you have to intentionally make questions an integral part of your activities and give them enough space.
Allowing several layers of diverse open-ended questions is a portal to unexpected explorations and surprising discoveries. Coming up with the answer is not always the most effective target. Thinking in Questions sets your mind in an enabling mode even if it results in no definitive answer.
Create a Space Between Data and Decision
Data-driven decision-making is effective. You might not always have the required data to make a decision, but when you do, it should be taken into account in finding the optimal path to take.
At the same time, in most cases, there is no single straight line drawn between data and decisions. When you create a space between the data and the decision, and when you fill this space with questions, you create more options. With each option, a new path is opened, and with it, different decisions could be taken.
- Let data sink in.
- Use the various Observation Aspects to come up with a diverse set of questions.
- Don’t settle with one level of questions. Use additional questions to promote more in-depth insights.
- Make a decision based not only on the data but also on the questions and their answers.
Use Questions as a Bridge to Different Domains and Contexts
Fusions are essential part of creative insights and ideas. When you form harmonies between ingredients from different domains and contexts, new creations become possible.
Often, these harmonies start with questions. With open-ended questions, you open gateways to various domains. Wondering about the possibility of connections that others don’t consider trivial is often the first step toward a creative Fusion.
- Phrase questions that don’t only go deeper but also wider.
- Let your questions open the possibility of exploring potential connections to other contexts and domains.
- If you find a potential connection, explore it further using additional questions that uncover the essence of the connection and new insights derived from it.
Phrase Questions as Opportunities
Not all questions embed the same potential. When you ask questions that assume a definitive answer or a closed set of solutions, you might not utilize the full power of Wonder.
Open-ended questions will often result in new surprising discoveries. But even before they do, the mere act of asking open-ended questions sets you in a mindset that promotes the identification of new, unexpected opportunities.
- Let your questions open new possibilities. Use open-ended questions that don’t create a predefined solution space.
- Favor questions that trigger your imagination as opposed to finding a single correct answer.
- When you discover an opportunity, continue exploring it using additional questions.
Start a meeting, a discussion, or a brainstorming session with a few minutes of nothing but asking questions. Don’t rush into answering them. Just list the questions and allow them to sink in.
Whatever follows in the discussion is likely to be affected consciously or unconsciously by these questions. They lure your brain to explore possibilities even before articulating them explicitly.
“What-If” questions are open-ended questions that don’t assume a closed set of answers. They call for imagining a new reality in which something is different. Trying to see the outcome of that different reality in your mind connects Wonder and Imagine.
“What-If” questions are also an excellent way to connect different domains. You can use “What-If” questions to set your mind in a new context and explore it even before coming up with a potential answer.