The Power of Inquiry

Often times we are looking for answers, but have you ever wondered if maybe instead we should be looking for the right questions? As a designer/problem solver, sometimes I have to think backwards to figure things out.

I have a friend who asks me the most random questions. The first I remember was, “If you were a superhero, what would your power be?” This was an easy one, but only because I had thought about it before — I would speak any and every language. But the questions are usually far more challenging and definitely more thought-provoking. The ones that followed always left me thinking.


I always answer with something simple, then immediately think, “that was sooooo lame.”  I spend the next few days obsessing over the questions and “better” answers. I become passionate about these silly little questions, but not for the actual answers. It’s the provocation of thought which intrigues me, and the journey my mind takes while creating the answers. Warren Berger, author of “A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas” published an article outlining the 8 most “provocative questions top designers, tech innovators and entrepreneurs ask themselves to spark creativity.”

I encourage everyone to check out the full article and challenge each of you to answer at least one (maybe even in the comments below). My favorite: “What is your sentence?”