Monday, August 22, 2011

Your Question-Centered Notebook

I read over the weekend that Richard Branson of Virgin Atlantic fame keeps a notebook full of questions.  Branson sees the world as a big question mark.  Branson and others are constantly challenging the accuracy of their mental maps about the world.  He fills notebooks with "what is", "what caused", "why", "why not", and "what if" questions. 

Look at your business, programs, or projects and start thinking about developing better questioning skills.  Engage in "question storming" sessions and the cultivation of a question thinking attitude.  Write your questions down in notebooks.  Review the questions periodically to see how many and what kinds of questions you're consistently asking (or not asking) - - look at the following areas:
  • What are your questioning patterns?  What kinds of questions do you focus on?
  • What questions yield unexpected insights into why things are the way they are?
  • What questions surface fundamental assumptions and challenge the status quo?

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