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Monday, February 19, 2007

Is the Big Question Half-Full or Half-Empty?

This month's Big Question - What Questions Should We be Asking? - Dave Lee just told us that there are 102 Questions. The original genesis of this question was a combination of my continual desire for Better Questions for Learning Professionals and an experience I had at a session where I heard a question that I thought was fantastic.

What I've realized through this process is that I've simultaneously really enjoyed seeing what people believe are challenging questions that we face today and simultaneously been disappointed with the questions. What I was hoping to see were questions that I wanted to discuss with people at the next conference or in the next big question. See things that people really were finding as a challenge. Instead, I feel like I'm seeing a lot of philosophical, big, narly questions that I have no chance (and no interest) in trying to answer. Or when I see a question that I don't know what to do with it.

Before I reached full depression, I went back and re-read the questions that were the genesis:
"How can I help my organization improve the quality and quantity of
conversations?" and “How can I create informal learning experiences for new
managers in my organization?"

Why do I like these questions?
  • There are lots of possible answers.
  • I feel I can learn from other people's answers.
  • An interesting discussion is likely to emerge from the question.
  • I think the answers may hold actionable suggestions.

I truly could imagine asking these as a discussion question in a session at a conference or as a future Big Question. I'd likely get lots of great ideas and discussion. And the discussion is not just theoretical mumbo-jumbo - the answers are things I can probably apply or can help me learn to do my work better.

What I'm wondering is whether people who are reading or participating in this month's question are finding a similar challenge? Are these questions helping you? If not, is there something better that I should have asked at the start?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think that even if the questions are not the sort to which I might like to have an answer, it is interesting to see what exercises everyone else. Perhaps the people who pose the ones that seem unanswerable to you are just as frustrated as you are by the lack of answers. But maybe, just maybe, there's someone out there who does have an answer - it doesn't have to be you. That's the beauty of blogging after all ;-)