Better at Questions

Creative work is all about questions.

If you don’t have a question then you’re not doing work, and if you have no more questions then you’ve finished your work (you are no longer creating, you are performing).

Once we’ve established that we are indeed asking and answering questions, we can move forward and there are a few places where we can and do make errors.

Try one of these:


Asking too many questions

How many questions are actually being asked? Is there one, or many? Can and should they be pulled apart and addressed separately?

Asking the wrong question

Is the question that has been asked the right one? The best one?

Not addressing the question

Has the question miscarried? Is this answer for a different question?

Lack of clarity about the current question

In resolving a bigger question, there are a number of smaller questions that need to be answered and getting lost in these is common. What question is being answered?

Issues with the boundaries of questions.

What is in and what is out? Consideration needs to be given to appetite, resources, constraints, and other systems.

Asking a question that is too small

Should a bigger question be asked? Does the question, as asked, capture the scope widely enough to allow work to be done on the right thing.


We don’t just need to be better at answers (coming up with answers, scrutinising answers, measuring answers, etc); we also need to be much better at questions.