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  • Writer's pictureAdil Malia

A Question of Questions

Are you asking the Critically right Questiions

We are all ever so hungry for the right answers. But first we must learn to ask the right questions. The secret of right answers lies in the right questions. Success is an outcome of the right Questions that got asked at the right time. By contrast failure is a result of the critical questions that should have been asked but never got asked.

Moving the Paradigm from ATQ to QTA... We developed our entire body of learning thru the 'Question and Answer' mode....possibly, even before we went to formal schools. The parent and later, the teacher would ask a question and the learner would be expected to give an accurate answer on which he would then be evaluated.

IMAGINE THIS : What if post teaching, the teacher gave some data, information and facts which looked like an answer and the learner would be evaluated for determining the most relevant and accurate 'Question' that this information represented??? In short, the teacher would give an answer and test a learners ability to learn on tge basis of identifying the most accurate Question it represents.

We have adopted a 'ATQ' model where - Answer Trumps the Questions. This has over a period of time proved to be a failure. This model we need to bury and write a morbid obituary to for having made us learn the wrong way. We now need to adopt the 'QTA' model - where Questions would Trumph the Answers. Your ability to identify the right Questions would determine your success with learning.

Do this little exercise for yourself...

Identify a challenging task that you are handling and make out a list of Questions you would like to ask yourself before attempting action. After listing out those questions, attempt the challenge before you. Post results now make out again another list of Questions - those you believe should have ideally been asked before attempting the challenge. Upon a comparative study, you will find the two list of Questions Are significantly different. Hind sight teaches that those new questions should have ideally been asked, but which foresight did not consider necessary to !!!

Research with break-through innovators and creative artists has indicated that radical solutions to stubborn and chronic problems has been traced to a new set of Questions that got formulated and got answered later but which were never asked before.

The most creative and successful business leaders have tended to be expert interrogators...champions in asking questions. In my career I have worked personally with several entrepreneurs in India and overseas. Take my word for it. Thier rustic intellect is further sharpened and nurtured by a sharp set of Critical Questions they ask. They question conventional wisdom of their industry, the fundamental practices of their Company...even the validity of their own assumptions. Thus they succeed where others who do not question, fail.

The Pulitzer Prize winning historian David Fischer rightly called 'questions' - the engines of intellect ...cerebral machines that convert curiosity into controlled inquiry.

We live in a Golden Age of Questioning...the Google Age succeeds on an assumption that answers to everything is strewn all around. If you have the right questions, you can thus capture the world. But for that to happen you should be a master of 'CRITICAL QUESTIONS' ....those uncomfortable questions which when answered would totally change the thought process and would have the capacity to trigger-off an enquiry which would pave way to a new and differentcourse of action.

As the world becomes more complex and dynamic, knowledge tends to get out dated and obsolete. New knowledge out dates and substitutes old knowledge at an amazing pace. Questions this context become more valuable than answers in a world where everything literally begins with - Why ? It becomes the centrifugal force driving learning .

There is indeed requirement for a new design to shape the intellectual curiosity and Questioning of people in digital times.

Let's learn to QUESTION.

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