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IDEO course: Leading for creativity


Can you learn to ask the right questions?

We develop learning programs for leadership teams to acquire 21st-century knowledge, tools and skills. The new business reality forces each organization to stimulate an innovation culture and life-long learning. Because learning is part of working, we design our education programs around real strategic challenges, encouraging learning by doing. That also means that sometimes we need to do this learning by doing ourselves. As long-term fans of IDEO we participated in the online course ‘Leading for creativity’ since we were triggered by one of the course objectives; ‘Unlock the power of questions to inspire others to navigate their work with confidence’. Sounds obvious, but in the context of future leadership skills, our curiosity made us participate and learn new ways to look at the art of asking questions.

To begin with, we had to record all the questions asked in a meeting. Think about the impact of these questions: Did they invite others to participate in some kind of process? Did they close down opportunities?

By doing so you can identify patterns across your reflections. Another takeaway was the following exercise: pick a problem and writing five actionable challenge questions that you or your team could get started on today (in order to achieve your vision). Those questions always start with ‘How Might We’. Try it, you can learn from it. It is also a tool for collaborative inquiry.

In the end we concluded that the more beautiful and meaningful questions are able to identify problems, challenge assumptions and shift people’s thinking.

Are you prepared for the future with your current skills? Do you encourage questioning in your team or at meetings?

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