sustainable business

Why It’s Good to Ask, Ask, Ask—and Ask Some More

Carolyn McMaster | March 25, 2014

I’m looking forward to reading A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas, a new book by journalist Warren Berger. ( recently interviewed him.)

Good questions do spark innovation—I see it all the time. Brainstorming is usually a series of questions, and entertaining “what if…” scenarios is one way to open windows to new ideas. Good questions help us—and our clients—dig deep and see far. Without good questions and the insights they prompt, marketing communications work is less effective and has a shorter shelf life.

We may drive clients a little mad with inquiry: “Why do you want to do that?” “What outcome do you want?” “What is your goal?” “What if we did X instead?” I suspect they sometimes think that we’re just being obtuse. But questioning gets them to think about their mission and business goals in new ways. It helps us separate the bright, shiny objects that are feel-good distractions from the strategies and tactics that really matter for the business. And it can reveal better solutions that those on the table.

Next time you have an idea, start asking questions. Here’s to more madness!


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