Organizations reward answers but often discourage its people to ask questions. We often attribute ideas (or answers) to particular individuals, but we hardly do the same with questions. Yet, questions are often more interesting than answers.
Good questions put pressure on the status quo and trigger change.
Good questions force people to reconsider what is taken for granted.
Good questions are an incentive to liberate creativity and boost innovation.
Good questions help people find option C instead of evaluating A against B.
Good questions don’t lead to definite answers. They are just open doors to explore new possibilities.
Answers, on the other hand, shut down the conversation. They send a message to everyone that the problem is solved, and that there’s no need to keep thinking about it.
Answers are often about people and their ego. Questions are about the organization.
The main problem with organizations obsessed with providing answers is that they tend to forget to ask the right questions. They will focus on finding ways to make horses run faster instead of inventing cars.
Whatever problems your organization is facing, start by defining good questions. They will often lead to faster resolutions and more interesting solutions.