When has an unexpected question really helped you think differently about a complex leadership issue?
Lacking in Space
Leaders constantly face difficult, complex problems. It comes with the territory. However our prevailing business culture celebrates instant gratification. Leaders find themselves discouraged from giving really hard questions the space they deserve.
A vast amount of energy in business is funnelled towards finding rapid answers to problems. Conversely, very little energy goes into framing better questions, which ultimately drive great ideas, answers and solutions.
But are we witnessing a shift? Business leaders today are expected to find sustainable solutions to some truly systemic challenges. And not just solutions for their own organisations, but across their entire ecosystem. Social inclusion, environmental stewardship and transparent corporate accountability are now squarely at the top of board and executive committee agendas.
Beginning with bold, unexpected questions and having the courage to stay with them for as long as it takes, can be a big step towards finding truly sustainable solutions. The sorts of questions that come at things side on, that lead to real insights, and that let people consider something in a way they’ve never let themselves before.
Our Favourite Unexpected Questions
We love collecting and developing unexpected questions to help solve complex issues. Here are a few favourites we ask to stimulate fresh thinking about difficult issues.
– If a young child you care about came to know everything that you know about your organisation, what would shock them most?
– What personal Covid 19 experience will last with you the longest? Where could this best inform your business thinking?
– What future story do you most want to be part of?
– What do your leaders of tomorrow need from you most to become tomorrow’s leaders?
– Where have you witnessed truly thriving and happy teams and how can the rest of your ecosystem learn from them?
– Which major business problem facing you today clashes most with your personal integrity?
Maybe you’ve found an unexpected question that helped you unblock a complex issue at work yourself?
Drop us a note if you’d like some help framing a complex issue differently.