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Monday, October 01, 2018

Question Bursts

Never liked classic brainstorming, here a somewhat different take.  Its on the list to try

Here's How 'Question Bursts Make Better Brainstorms
Tempering Your Urge to Give all the Answers can Lead to better ones.    ByTom Relihan in MIT Sloan.

When faced with a question, the impulse is to spit out an answer. But asking more and better questions can sometimes get you further. ....

It’s among the largest of projects that Ling Xiang, a director of product management at Oracle, has encountered: helping to lead an organizational change that is part of the company’s transformation from a software developer into a cloud-based service provider.

The transition will require bucking old ways of thinking to adopt new ones. But Xiang expects such a drastic shift won’t come without some measure of resistance, and figuring out how to overcome it will require that she, too, explore new leadership methods and avenues of thought to ensure everyone comes on board.

Such outside-the-box thinking doesn’t come easy when you’ve been deeply involved in a project and may be locked into your own perceptions of the situation. That’s where Hal Gregersen, the executive director of the MIT Leadership Center, comes in.

For Gregersen, finding solutions to challenges like Xiang’s doesn’t so much lay in thinking up answers as it does in just asking the right questions — lots of them, at a rapid clip. The method was highlighted in a recent article by Gregersen in Harvard Business Review.

Xiang, a candidate in MIT Sloan’s Executive MBA program, experienced the practice — which Gregersen calls a “question burst” — firsthand. She pitched her challenge to two fellow students, and then sat back and took on the role of scribe as they pelted her with question after question. She wasn’t allowed to answer any of them — only to record them one-by-one, verbatim.  ... "

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