Question-Storming: An Incredibly Valuable Tool

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I am always looking for great questions.  I’m inspired by Peter Drucker’s line that “the important and difficult job is never to find the right answers, it is to find the right question.  For there are few things as useless–if not dangerous–as the right answer to the wrong question (The Practice of Management).”

Last week in my hunt for a better question I tripped across a really great webinar by Jeff Dyer, the co-author of The Innovator’s DNA: Mastering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators.

The webinar provided an overview of the five skills of disruptive innovators (associating, questioning, observing, networking, and experimenting).  Although there were great takeaways and real application from all five skills, questioning really caught my attention.  And within the skill of questioning, a tool called question-storming gripped me.  We will use this idea!


For me, the big idea of the webinar had to do with a skill called question-storming.  Essentially, when you brainstorm you are trying to come up with solutions or ideas; when you question-storm you are coming ups with questions related to the problem (at least 25 questions).

Here are the steps:

  1. Identify a problem you are trying to solve.
  2. Instead of brainstorming solutions, brainstorm ONLY questions to the problem (at least 25 questions).
  3. Write the questions on a white board for everyone to see as they are being generated.
  4. At the end, prioritize the top 3 to 5 questions that should be addressed/answered before brainstorming solutions.

What do you think?  Have a question?  You can click here to jump into the conversation.

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