I believe a great question is more valuable than a great idea. Questions open up discussions while ideas constrain them. Ideas certainly have their place but they also tend to use heuristics based on what has been done before and what is possible. Questions don’t care about any of that. Questions let us dream.
A few years back, I led “questionstorm” session where we took 15 minutes on Monday morning to generate a list of all the things we wanted to know. Any question that was brought up got added to the list. We weren’t trying to solve any problems at that time. We had to resist the urge to throw out an answer if we know it because maybe the answer is only the answer because ”that’s the way we’ve always done it.” Maybe there’s a better answer than the traditional answer.
How to Questionstorm
You can you any question you like but I prefer to use things like:
- What if …
- Why do …
- How come …
This is something I still do today and here is a list of some of my questions I will ponder:
- Why do we own anything
- Why don’t people trust brands?
- How can I help?
- What do baseball and business have in common?
- Why do businesses require a degree?
- Does day and time matter for email sends?
- Would you pay someone to read your content?
- Would you charge someone to read your content?
- What ways are photography and business related?
- What business won’t be around in 5 years?
- Why are we still doing resumes, applications and interviews?
- What does a click through rate tell you?
- Why are we loyal?
- What’s the best way to test subject lines?
- What would happen if the subject line was “open this”
- What is commitment?
- Why don’t we act in our own best interest?
- What if we couldn’t measure open rates?
- Who would we pick if we could only email 800 people from our database?
- How do we reduce clicks?
Someday I may answer one of these questions while others will live in question state for all of eternity. I love the fact that they are documented and that I can come back and look as this has been very useful in kickstarting my creativity. There’s so many things I want to know and everyday I seem to have more questions than answers.