Asking the old questions will give us the old answers. New thinking comes from considering new questions. Disruptive times ask us to challenge ourselves with new questions. If we don’t, the changes ahead will ask even more of us.
At a recent Startup Australia organised by Powerhouse HQ, Kate Bennett Eriksson of PWC made the powerful point that organisations trying to create a more innovative culture need to learn to ask new questions in their decision making. Referencing Victor Frankl, Kate noted that between stimulus and response is time for thought. Changing decisions with new questions that alter our thought process generates a different outcome.
New questions are a powerful technique of change. When I want to learn a new way of thinking or consider new issues I develop a mental checklist of new questions to help me think differently in decisions. The provocation of a new set of questions changes the process and outcomes of thinking.
New questions to consider
I believe we need to lead change in the way we work and organise ourselves to survive digital disruption. This belief led me to the panel session on Startup and Corporate collaboration at which Kate spoke. It also has driven my engagement with organisations like The Responsive Organisation Manifesto, Disrupt.Sydney and Change Agents Worldwide in search of new ways of thinking and techniques for responding to the challenges of disruption. I have come away from those conversations with many new questions to ask.
Here are some of the new questions that I have learned to ask:
- How do we test?
- What experiment could we run?
- What is the cost of not acting?
- What would happen if we put all of the information out in the wider network?
- What would it take to just do it?
- Who else can we involve to help?
- How do we go faster?
- Who needs the decision made?
- What would it take to enable others to make the decision?
- What shapes my view of trust in this relationship?
- Who is most passionate to do this?
- Who wants accountability?
- How do I use my authority?
- What outcomes do we want? Or need?
- What’s my and our purpose?
- What would it take to ask customers or let them choose?
- What social benefit or social problem can we solve in the process?
- How do we make this more fun?
All confronting questions and only a beginning of the new thinking ahead.
Questions for you:
What new questions do you need to add from your decisions? What old questions are getting in the way? How can new questions drive new thinking and new results in your world?
What are you waiting for?