What if you could unlock a better answer to your most vexing problem-in your workplace, community, or home life-just by changing the question?
Talk to creative problem-solvers and they will often tell you, the key to their success is asking a different question.
Take Debbie Sterling, the social entrepreneur who created GoldieBlox. The idea came when a friend complained about too few women in engineering and Sterling wondered aloud: "why are all the great building toys made for boys?" Or consider Nobel laureate Richard Thaler, who asked: "would it change economic theory if we stopped pretending people were rational?" Or listen to Jeff Bezos whose relentless approach to problem solving has fueled Amazon's exponential growth: "Getting the right question is key to getting the right answer."
Great questions like these have a catalytic quality-that is, they dissolve barriers to creative thinking and channel the pursuit of solutions into new, accelerated pathways. Often, the moment they are voiced, they have the paradoxical effect of being utterly surprising yet instantly obvious.