Questions That Work: How to Ask Questions That Will Help You Succeed in Any Business Situation

By Andrew Finlayson | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 9
QUESTIONS THAT WORK WHEN:
Creativity and New
Thinking Are Needed

We should not only master questions, but also act upon them, and act
definitely.

WOODROW WILSON

Is there a difference between creating a symphony and starting a business? Both take energy, discipline, and a burning desire to imagine something where nothing has been—in short, creativity. Creativity is closely linked to imagination, interpretation, and the individual. It is the art of the unforced question, the inquiry from inside, an intelligent gamble with irreverence. These mysterious qualities make many organizations think it is impossible to require employees to use creativity. Yet with positive questions, all employees can contribute new ideas.

Some people I surveyed for Questions That Work said that the best use of questions regarding creativity in the workplace is simply to discover who is creative and to encourage that skill. I disagree and argue that questions bring out latent abilities buried under years of discouragement. Debra Giampoli, director of consumer promotions for the New Meals Division at Kraft Foods, says she has a strong belief that human beings are “hard wired” for creativity and that to “deny it is tantamount to denying a primary drive.” She believes many of us have had creativity “conditioned” out of us by the time we reach adulthood. “Once released,” says Giampoli, “we are happier, more fulfilled, and better at what we do.”1

Creativity can, in a practical sense, be defined as the ability to solve a given problem with the resources at hand. A firsthand demonstration of this was given during an interview with Maurice Kanbar, the inventor of Skyy vodka. Kanbar said there was a simple reason that he developed his superpure premium vodka: It his way of solving a very real problem

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