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The future belongs to those who question

Hyper Island Treinamento e Educação Executiva do Brasil Ltda @ 2022-06-22 09:33:20 -0500

As children, we are excellent questioners. A study in England found that, on average, a four-year-old asks their mother 390 questions a day. But where does all this curiosity go as we grow up?

Questioning requires greater cognitive effort than simply accepting what is given to us. We tend to conform to what is already habitual, even if it is uncomfortable for us. So, to save energy, we end up operating on autopilot – and ignoring much of what's going on around us.

In the business world, inquiring can be considered inefficient. We live in a culture that discourages the act of questioning. Furthermore, questions challenge the status quo, compromise structures and can challenge authority. However, in the constant change we live in today, not questioning can pose an even greater risk.



It is always good to remember that we have two ears and only one mouth – we must listen more than we speak. As a consultant and researcher, being a good listener is essential. In the world of research, we say that we go into the field “without desire and without memory”. Open to what comes. Trying to avoid biases, prejudices and ready-made ideas.

The world needs more questions and less certainty. More questioners and less experts. Consider moving from “strategic planning” to “strategic questioning”.

As Warren Berger brilliantly argues in his book A More Beautiful Question: questioning is more important today than ever before – and will be even more important tomorrow – helping us understand what matters, where the opportunities are, and how to get to them.

Or as Einstein said: if I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on it, I would spend the next 55 minutes making sure I was answering the right question.

For Berger, “A beautiful question is an ambitious but debatable question that can begin to change the way we perceive something or think about it – and that, perhaps, serve as a catalyst for change.”


About the author

Carol Perrone has a degree in Product Design from UFRGS, a master's degree in Behavioral Design also from UFRGS and a postgraduate degree in Neuroscience and Behavior from PUCRS. She works as a Design Manager at Itaú and is a consultant in several areas of design, consumer behavior research, trend research, branding and strategic planning. In addition, she serves as a Learning Designer at Hyper Island.

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