Question (Almost) Everything

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In this episode of Daily Creative, we delve into the fascinating world of questioning and its impact on creativity and problem-solving. We start with a story from the 1980s about A&W Restaurants’ third-pound burger blunder, highlighting the importance of asking the right questions.

We then welcome Warren Berger, the author of “A More Beautiful Question,” who shares his journey from a newspaper journalist to a “questionologist.” Berger emphasizes that asking the right questions is a vital skill that often goes untrained, even in fields that rely heavily on inquiry, like journalism.

Our discussion reveals how innovators from Silicon Valley use questions not just to gather information but to spark creativity and solve problems. Berger introduces us to three fundamental types of questions—Why?, What If?, and How?—that can guide us through any challenge.

We also explore how leaders can cultivate a questioning culture within their organizations by modeling curiosity, transforming mission statements into mission questions, and encouraging open inquiry among team members.

Finally, Todd Henry challenges listeners to identify and overcome their own limiting assumptions, or “ghost rules,” using curiosity-driven questioning.

Five Key Learnings:

1. Clear and effective questioning is crucial in marketing and creative work, as illustrated by A&W’s third-pound burger mistake.

2. Training in the art of questioning is often overlooked, even in professions that depend on it, such as journalism.

3. Innovators use questions to understand problems, imagine solutions, and take actionable steps—summarized in the Why, What If, and How framework.

4. Leaders can foster a culture of questioning by modeling curiosity, encouraging open-ended questions, and rewarding inquisitive thinking.

5. Challenging and reframing our assumptions (ghost rules) can unlock new possibilities and drive innovation.

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