“Organizations gravitate toward the questions they ask.” And that applies to countries, communities, families and individuals. We all live in the world our questions create. This is according to David Cooperrider, PhD, a professor of Social Entrepreneurship at Case Western Reserve University.
I loved every aspect of this book. Author Warren Berger has done deep research that is inclusive of so many thought leaders from the academic research world, the business world, educators, marketing gurus . . . people from every walk of life who recognize the value of questioning and who pick apart our cultural bias against it.
Berger’s subjective definition of a “beautiful question” is “an ambitious yet actionable question that can begin to shift the way we perceive or think about something, and that might serve as a catalyst to bring about change.” The title of the book comes from an e.e. cummings poem: “Always the beautiful answer, who asks a more beautiful question.” I saw similar themes explored in Ed Catmull’s “Creativity Inc” and in Brian Grazer’s “A Curious Mind.”
There is a great deal of questioning about how we educate young people. Preschoolers come into the classroom asking hundreds of questions a day and by middle school they ask practically none. The rush to standardize teaching before kindergarten and the continued focus on students memorizing facts comes under serious scrutiny here. The author and a number of education researchers make the case for “continued neoteny” into adulthood. Our ability to learn through questioning should not cease as we get older, it should be the foundation and approach to meeting a world that now has a “glut of knowledge.” Neuroscientist Dr. Stuart Firestein points out that “glut of knowledge makes us more ignorant. The amount an individual knows as relative to the growing body of knowledge is getting smaller.” (Look for his TED Talk)Read More