Thought for the Week: Check the Question

"Anybody can spot wrong answers. It takes a creative mind to spot wrong questions." Anthony Jay

We have a tendency to assume a question, brainstorm solutions, measure each solution against some defined criteria, and then choose one of these solutions to put into action. If the answer we choose turns out to be insufficient, we go back to the drawing board, create more solutions and try again. Our discussion tends to focus on (a) why were we not able to implement the solution effectively and (b) what will it take to make the solution work this time.

Confused  The traditional approach to problem solving spends little time on crafting the question and lots of effort on creating multiple answers. Yet wrong questions are not only common but a great opportunity for the creative leader. When everybody seems to be suffering from lack of results, when the teem seems unable to deal with a problem, it might be that they are trying to answer the wrong question. Creative leaders know to check the assumptions of the group and see if the problem you really need to address is the problem you think you are trying to solve. You might be surprised at your discovery.

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