Intellectual curiosity helps you and your team understand more about the problems you face and identify and get more of what you want. Learn to us questions that fuel intellectual curiosity to improve the assortment, quality, relevance, and usefulness of your questions.
- When you think about your organization, what do you think your leadership values most? A. Questions that can't be answered, or B. Answers that can't be questioned? If you answered A, you're well positioned to help intellectual curiosity flourish. If you answered B, spread this lesson around, because curiosity requires valuing questions, and intellectual curiosity thrives when you're asking better ones. To assess and improve the quality of your questions, use two types of questions that fuel intellectual curiosity, bucket, and interrogation questions. Bucket questions, help you assess your question assortment, so you don't rely on asking the same type of question over and over again. When Malik was assessing whether to expand his team's video games into China, he used bucket questions to sort his team's questions into three buckets. Number one, is it a knowledge question? One that requires evidence to arrive at a correct answer. One of Malik's knowledge questions, how many gaming consoles were sold in China last year? Number two, is it an opinion question? One that can't necessarily be assessed because it calls for a subjective preference. Here Malik asked, are multiplayer games more fun than single player games? Number three, is it a judgment question? One that requires reasoning, critical thinking to arrive at better or worse answers. One of Malik's judgment questions was, are Battle Royale style games gaining or losing momentum? Sorting his team's questions, Malik noticed that they were heavy on opinion question, so he encouraged them to generate more knowledge and judgment questions, improving their overall assortment of questions. Next, we have interrogation questions. A. To evaluate whether you're asking the right questions, and B. to improve question quality. Ask yourself if the question is well stated, Malik's question. How many gamers are there in China might be better stated, what's the breakdown of gamers in China by platform. PC, console, mobile. Ask yourself whether the question is biased. A question like, what does our analysis show about the benefits of expanding into China? May hint at Malik's confirmation bias, looking for evidence to support his preexisting belief that they should expand into China? A less biased question might be, what does the data show about expanding video games into China? Ask yourself if the expression of the question does justice to the complexity of the issue. For example, Malik's question, what games does China allow? Doesn't really reflect the complexity like the question, what are the criteria by which the Chinese government determines whether or not they will allow a game to be published in China? Just seeing what games China allows, didn't reveal that China doesn't allow games with supernatural or religious elements. Malik's zombie game would not be allowed. Is the question relevant to the issue? When Malik replaced the question, what's the average disposable income of kids in China? With, what are the demographics of the average gamer in China? He found the demographic question more relevant, especially when it surfaced that the average gamer in China was significantly older than they had assumed. Bucket your questions to optimize your assortment, and interrogate questions to ask better ones. You'll experience something interesting, a virtuous circle where intellectual curiosity, both fuels and requires better questions. The dividends, better decisions, more trust and collaboration will be worth it.
- Comparing critical and strategic thinking
- Minimizing bad judgements
- Recognizing cognitive bias
- Using counterfactual thinking
- Overcoming loss aversion
- Avoiding logical fallacies
- Creating a culture of critical thinking