I am reading an excellent book on how to do Productive Thinking in a business setting: Think Better by Tim Hurson. In essence he describes a sophisticated systematic way how to better do brainstorming sessions combined with critical thinking to come to creative answers. In the six step process he uses step 3 is the most important one: What’s the Question? Quoting Peter Drucker:
The most serious mistakes are not being made as a result of wrong answers. The truly dangerous thing is asking the wrong question.
I think that this is an entirely correct statement and also in my experience the most common reason why initiatives such as in marketing, sales or product design, product development fail is that the wrong questions have been asked to formulate the challenge or problem and then all efforts are targeted at solving the wrong problem.
Tim Hurson writes that the ultimate question – a truly Catalytic Question – must be figured out first and unless you don’t do that it doesn’t matter how good the rest of your work is.
Idea management software solutions such as the one we represent - Kindling – are excellent tools to not only find ideas but also find the right questions to start with before all efforts are made to try to solve the wrong or not core issue.