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Podcast Episodes

What is behavioral economics? Why does it matter to you?

340. Innovation Starts with a Question: Unraveling the Power of Beautiful Questions – Warren Berger (Refreshed Episode)

In this episode of The Brainy Business podcast, you’ll hear an insightful interview with Warren Berger, an expert in the power of questioning. Warren’s exploration of design thinking led him to delve into the origins of breakthrough innovations, startups, and the role of questioning in driving them. His books, A More Beautiful Question and The Book of Beautiful Questions, provide frameworks and examples for using questioning effectively in different domains of life. 

Warren emphasizes the importance of questioning in education, business, relationships, and leadership. He highlights the transformative power of asking beautiful questions, which can lead to continuous learning, innovation, and deeper connections with others. By embracing questioning, individuals and organizations can unlock their full potential and lead a path of growth and discovery.

In this episode:

 

  • Unleash your potential and drive personal and professional growth by harnessing the power of questioning.

  • Discover how questioning plays a vital role in design thinking and innovation, and unlock new possibilities in your creative endeavors.

  • Ignite exploration and creativity by asking beautiful questions that inspire curiosity and push the boundaries of what is possible.

  • Foster continuous improvement and engagement by incorporating mission questions into your personal and professional life.

  • Learn how questioning can enhance interpersonal relationships, problem-solving, and lead to deeper connections and understanding.

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IN A RUSH?

HERE'S A 2 MINUTE TIP.

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SHOW NOTES:

00:00:00 – Introduction,
Introduction to the podcast episode and the guest, Warren Berger, who is an expert in questioning and author of the book A More Beautiful Question.

00:01:23 – Importance of Questioning,
Warren discusses the importance of questioning and how it is a powerful tool for problem-solving and decision-making. He emphasizes that questioning should be recognized as a field of study and incorporated into education and business training.

00:04:29 – Questioning and Design Thinking,
Warren explains his background in writing about design thinking and how it led him to explore the role of questioning in problem-solving. He highlights that designers and successful business leaders are often skilled questioners.

00:07:06 – Researching Questions,
Warren shares his research approach, which involves studying how different fields and professionals use questioning. He mentions sources such as Harvard Business Review and Psychology Today, and notes that there are few books dedicated solely to questioning.

00:10:47 – The Challenge of Writing about Questions,
Warren discusses the challenge of expanding the topic of questioning from a chapter in a book to multiple books. He emphasizes the limitless depth and breadth of the subject and his commitment to exploring it fully.

00:15:26 – The Power of Questioning,
Warren discusses how questioning leads to breakthroughs and innovation, emphasizing that many innovations start with a simple question. He introduces his first book, which explores the general concept of questioning with a focus on innovation.

00:16:16 – Questioning in Different Areas,
Warren explains that people approach questioning from different angles depending on their interests. He highlights the relationships between questioning and creativity, decision-making, relationships with others, and leadership. Businesses are recognizing the importance of leaders who can ask insightful questions.

00:17:31 – The Book of Beautiful Questions,
Warren’s second book delves into four key areas where questioning is relevant: creativity, leadership, relationships, and decision-making. He offers examples of useful questions in each area and encourages readers to come up with their own.

00:18:31 – Questioning in Education,
Warren’s third book, targeted at educators, focuses on how to encourage students to ask more questions. He emphasizes the importance of engaging students’ curiosity and creating a classroom environment where questioning is encouraged.

00:21:02 – Modeling Questioning Behavior,
Warner discusses the importance of modeling questioning behavior, both for teachers and parents. He explains that demonstrating a balance of confidence and humility as a questioner can inspire others and create a more approachable leadership style. Intellectual curiosity is a valuable trait for both leaders and learners.

00:30:45 – The Three Types of Questions,
The three types of questions are why, what if, and how. These questions work together in a cycle to push you forward and prevent you from getting stuck. Each question serves a different purpose in the problem-solving process.

00:31:19 – The Importance of the Why Question,
The why question helps you understand the problem and its importance. However, it’s important not to get trapped in the philosophical stage of constantly asking why. The why question is the first step in the process.

00:31:50 – Moving to the What If Stage,
After asking why and gaining an understanding of the problem, it’s time to start asking what if. This stage is for brainstorming and speculating on possible solutions. However, it’s important not to get stuck in this stage and move on to the next.

00:32:28 – The How Question,
The “how” question is about implementation and practicality. It’s about figuring out how to solve the problem and get started. This question should be the last step in the process, after understanding the problem and exploring possible solutions.

00:35:30 – The Importance of Spending Time on Each Stage,
It’s important not to rush through any of the stages. Spending time on each stage ensures that you have a deep understanding of the problem, explore different possibilities, and then figure out how to implement the solution. Don’t shortchange any of the stages.

00:44:52 – The Power of Beautiful Questions,
Warren discusses the importance of formulating a powerful question that can drive motivation and purpose. He encourages individuals and companies to focus on mission questions rather than mission statements, as questions are ongoing and open-ended.

00:46:14 – Finding Your Beautiful Question,
Warren encourages listeners to find their own beautiful question, a question that they can continuously pursue and work on throughout their lives. He also suggests that businesses should have mission questions that drive their purpose and motivate their employees.

00:47:18 –  Conclusion,
Melina’s top insights from the conversation. What stuck with you while listening to the episode? What are you going to try? Come share it with Melina on social media — you’ll find her as @thebrainybiz everywhere and as Melina Palmer on LinkedIn.

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