If you’ve ever spent time with a toddler, you may have noticed that they have a habit of asking questions. At three, most kids are insatiably curious about the world around them. “Why is the sky blue?” “Why am I not supposed to eat yellow snow?” “Why is that cat fat?” And the list goes on and on…
That same childlike curiosity fuels successful innovators and entrepreneurs. It’s a skill we call “questioning.” Mastering it can inspire and catalyze business model innovation. Practically speaking, innovators use questioning whenever facing a new business challenge or when they are looking for a new business opportunity. They use it to learn from others about the world around them, adjacent industries, models that drive success, mistakes that have ultimately led to failure, needs and compensatory behaviors, how business models work or any number of other situations…essentially, it’s a skill they almost always have “on.” You can too.
While questioning can serve to help define what you want to learn about an industry, learning by directly talking to other people can be a tremendous source of knowledge. As you reach out to experts, thought leaders, customers and others, here are some grown-up tips to develop and practice the skill of Questioning:
Grown up questioning can be a powerful catalyst to think and see differently when you approach it with child-like curiosity. Big ideas for new models often have their genesis in a simple set of questions.