Use these 3 questions to tackle
any problem; plus, why schools kill questioning, and the power of
Hello <<First Name>>
For the past few weeks I’ve been busy with a series of visits to the West Coast as part of my A More Beautiful Question promotional tour. One of my stops in L.A. was at the backyard broadcast studio of Kelly Carlin, host of the popular podcast/radio show “Waking from the American Dream.”
Kelly and I did a lively show about questioning; there’s no doubt she inherited some great skills as a humorist and observer from her father, the comic legend George Carlin (who died in 2008). I first connected with Kelly while researching the book because I became fascinated with George Carlin’s ability to ask great questions. As Kelly explained to me, Carlin had a special way of looking at the everyday world and noticing interesting things that others overlooked. In fact, he had a term for this way of seeing familiar things in a new way—Vuja De. (For more on Vuja De and a clip of Carlin’s bit, check out my post “The Power of Vuja De.”)
The lesson from George Carlin, and many other great questioners and innovators, is that questioning begins with paying attention—even to the most mundane, familiar surroundings.
The edited American Dream podcast can be found in the Broadcast Media section of my In the News/Media page.
Can three little questions help you tackle any problem? They can if they’re Why, What If, and How questions. This is one of the key concepts in the book A More Beautiful Question—explained at length in the middle section of the book. I felt it would be useful to boil this concept down to its essence, and, for those who may have missed my Fast Company series, here it is in a slightly revised version.
Why don’t our schools do a better job of encouraging kids’ questions? The Harvard education guru Tony Wagner has some thoughts on this, and other burning topics such as Why businesses don’t question enough and How to ask “essential questions.”
These days, authors don’t just ask you to read their book—they also implore you to write a review of it on Amazon.
I am no exception. In this era where a book’s Amazon page is so important, the reviews on that page are critical. But they can also teach an author a lot about why people are liking (or not liking) your book. Here’s my post on Things I Learned About My Book from Amazon.
What’s even better than a review? This sketch-note! See below how designer Alyssa Gallagher (@am_gallaher) communicated HER takeaways about AMBQ on Twitter. Thanks @am_gallagher.
Are you a SlideShare fan? SlideShare, owned by LinkedIn, is the world’s largest community for sharing slide presentations and other professional content. Right now they’re asking organizations to send in their “culture codes”: what makes them tick; what makes them special; what makes them great. My own “10 Signs You Have a Culture of Inquiry” SlideShare is featured on their Culture Code page. Check it out: http://www.slideshare.net/tag/culturecode
More on cultures: Read an interesting research-based story concerning good and bad company cultures, published in the NYTimes this past weekend: “Why You Hate Work” by Tony Schwartz and Christine Porath
The Rubik’s Cube is “a question answered.” Or so says a delightful 2-minute video produced recently by Google in honor of the 40th Anniversary of the Rubik’s Cube. It features some great quotes from inventor Erno Rubik. And it builds to a stirring call to action to help our kids hone their curiosity so they can be the next generation of adventurers and inventors. I really liked the message and think you will too.
Can questioning help today’s companies find their true mission? This excerpt from AMBQ, featured in the June issue of the UK edition of Wired magazine, explores that topic and tells the story of how a business professor named Clayton Christensen ushered in a new era of disruptive thinking—by starting with a few fundamental questions.
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Thank you, as always, for your interest in AMBQ, and I hope to continue the conversation with you either via Twitter, Facebook, or on the AMBQ blog.