My friend Corinne Miller wrote a Change This Manifesto a few years ago that’s as relevant (or even more so) today. It’s called “Questionating.” I have attached a PDF below that contains the entire e-book.
I met Corinne at the Thinkubator in Chicago where she and Gerald Haman were developing the concept and working on a series of QuestionBanks. The late innovator. Arthur B. VanGundy was also a catalyst for creating question banks – most notably in his book Getting to Innovation.
Corinne is currently the Founder & Principal Consultant at INNOVATING RESULTS! She has held both line and staff leadership positions at Motorola, Rockwell International, Northrop Defense Systems, and TRW. 500 companies.
So what is Questionating?
According to Miller, "it is a process to develop, use and improve QuestionBanks – organized collections of thought-provoking questions, conveying expert—as well as diverse—thinking on a particular topic to inspire innovative solutions."
Imagine you’re attempting to start a new business and you’re able access the 100 smartest questions asked about startups. Or you’re preparing an offsite retreat and you have the 50 most valuable questions about planning and executing a successful offsite event?
In the voice of Eureka Ranch's Doug Hall, this is a wicked good idea.
But I have noticed that while many companies and organizations love the concept, they often don’t put the idea into action. I often to say to groups, what if you could tap into the collective knowledge of your company and beyond?
Times change but the essential and most basic questions don’t. What business are we in? Who are our customers? How might we attract more engaged employees?
What’s your favorite question?
In Corinne’s manifesto, she writes:
“Over the years we’ve found that the most popular answers to this question are “why,” “how,” and “why not” in that order. A trend we’ve also observed is that those who ask “why” are typically more holistic or whole-brained thinkers, those who ask “how” are typically more box thinkers, and those who ask “why not” are typically the challenging thinkers. All types, of course, are equally valuable and equally required for innovation.”
A good place to start might be to ask all the people in your organization, what the 50 most important questions we should be asking ourselves? (Or simply ask what’s the single, most critical question we should be asking ourselves? See if you get 50 distinct questions or a variation on just a few.
What's your favorite question? What's the single question you'd ask yourself that might result in the most positive impact for your company or organization?
Click link to download Manifesto.