A favorite question to pose when I start a project is “What patterns are we stuck in?” Some people will look at me quite confused, like they have no idea what I am asking them to consider. So I ask a follow up question(s):
- Who did you invite to participate in this project, and why? (Who was in your last project? Why?)
- Why are we meeting in this space?
- Do you engage people outside of your industry/profession in exploring the __ (need, idea, challenge/opportunity)?
- What are your assumptions about ___ (how your market accesses information, how people view your association, how your teams work together, how members want to engage with you, etc)?
Many projects falter because people hold assumptions that simply aren’t true. Recognizing your personal/group assumptions is a great step to helping you move beyond them.
“He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes; he who does not ask a question remains a fool forever.” – Chinese proverb