IN INTERVIEWING SOME OF THE BIGGEST INNOVATION EXPERTS, INCLUDING CLAYTON CHRISTENSEN AND ERIC RIES, WARREN BERGER FOUND THAT ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTIONS CAN BE MORE CHALLENGING THAN FINDING ANSWERS.
To arrive at a powerful sense of purpose, Yamashita says, companies today need “a fundamental orientation that is outward looking”—so they can understand what people out there in the world truly desire and need, and what’s standing in the way. At the same time, business leaders also must look inward, to try to clarify their own core values and larger ambitions.
But the harder question has to do with what you’re willing to eliminate. If you can’t answer that question, Bergstrand maintains, “it lessens your chances of being successful at what you want to do next—because you’ll be sucking up resources doing what’s no longer needed and taking those resources away from what should be a top priority.”
4. IF WE DIDN’T HAVE AN EXISTING BUSINESS, HOW COULD WE BEST BUILD A NEW ONE?
“…Answering this question can point to future opportunities and help your share price to outperform the market by showing “that there’s more growth here than analysts may have thought.”
4. WHERE IS OUR PETRI DISH?
Ogilvie’s question is really asking, “Where in the company is it safe to ask radical questions? Where, within the company, can you explore heretical questions that could threaten the business as it is—without contaminating what you’re doing now?”
“This means that instead of asking “What will we do?” or “What will we build?” the emphasis should be on “What will we learn?”
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