Ask great questions.


“Perhaps now, good questions are more important than answers when it comes to learning in the Big Shift era”

– John Seely Brown

We’re in the Big Shift era right now – an era of exponential social & cultural change driven by digital innovation – where we need to focus on questions over answers.

This feels like a big departure from our education system today, where grades are based on a student’s ability to recall the right answer. Imagine the creative power that might be unleashed by brilliant questions…

…what might our next generation dream up?

We see this in the workplace too. In professional services organisations, for example, greater value is often placed on answers and solutions rather than asking clients brilliant / tough / important questions.

That said, some companies, like EY, are positioning the concept of Better Questions as their value proposition:

Organisations can no doubt learn from teacher techniques for asking good questions which aim to help students overcome fear of failure and tap into creativity. Many organisations that we speak to cite the challenge of getting employees to ‘operate without fear’ and are actively investing in innovation practices.

Design thinking is arguably the most important step when developing great products and services, where methods are designed to help innovators avoid jumping to the answers too early.

How many designers will it take to screw in a light bulb?


Why a light bulb?

At GroHappy, good questions are our bread & butter.

Crafting a fulfilling career is no simple task – it’s a continual journey of reflection, action and decision and each person’s journey is unique. While we can’t possibly provide the answer (much as customers might like us to!) we do ask great questions and can share great stories to support the journey.

Building GroHappy requires us to draw on different techniques to tackle big questions. Here are some of our favourites:

1. How Might We

Inspired by the Google Ventures Design Sprint Method (which we use a lot) this technique helps reframe problems in a more productive way. For example:

“Customers aren’t using all the content on the platform” becomes:

“How might we make the content truly relevant and inspiring for our customer?”

2. Why do we need to do anything at all? Why now?

A brilliant Partner at EY taught us this one to help bring teams back to the real, urgent problem at hand.

3. Five Whys

A six sigma and design toolkit staple, asking ‘why’ 5 times is an invaluable way to get to the root cause of a problem. We find this invaluable when running customer interviews.

So a final thought for today:

How might you invite more and better questions today ?

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