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A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas Hardcover – March 4, 2014


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA (March 4, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1620401452
  • ISBN-13: 978-1620401453
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.1 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,694 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Berger emphasizes the power of inquiry as he challenges us to see things with a fresh eye. He concentrates on game-changing questions, those that can result in actions that lead to real results. The author focuses on innovation and invention stories, explaining that in business, questions challenge authority and disrupt established structures, processes, and systems, forcing people to at least consider something different. Berger offers his framework for problem solving in three stages. The initial “why” stage involves seeing and understanding, which include noticing what others missed and challenging both our own and others’ assumptions. The second, “what-if,” stage is about imagining that blue-sky moment of questioning when anything is possible; and the third, the “how to” action stage, is about doing. Asking the right questions will help us discover what matters, what opportunities exist, and how to find them. This thought-provoking book offers important insights to executives, and to those aspiring to leadership, for their business and personal use. --Mary Whaley

Review

"We know that the art of asking questions is at the heart of discovery in science, philosophy, medicine—so why don’t we extend that power to all areas of our lives? The thoughtful, provocative questions Warren Berger raises in this book are indeed the kind of ‘beautiful questions’ that can help us identify the right problems and generate creative solutions." –Daniel Pink, New York Times bestselling author of Drive and To Sell Is Human
 
"In the old economy, it was all about having the answers. But in today’s dynamic, lean economy, it’s more about asking the right questions. A More Beautiful Question is about figuring out how to ask, and answer, the questions that can lead to new opportunities and growth." –Eric Ries, New York Times best-selling author of The Lean Startup

"In this wise book, Warren Berger shows us how crucial it is to question every aspect of our lives, from business to school to our choice of toothpaste. My question: Why wouldn’t you read this book?" –A.J. Jacobs, New York Times bestselling author and Esquire columnist

"The genesis of many great startups is the simple question, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if?’ Warren Berger helps you understand the power of questions to change the world. Real men ask questions, they don’t spout out answers." –Guy Kawasaki, former chief evangelist at Apple and author of APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur

“Berger presents a simple three-part framework, the 'Why-What If-How' model , to guide effective inquiry.” –The New York Times Book Review

"This thought-provoking book offers important insights to executives, and to those aspiring to leadership, for their business and personal use." –Booklist

"A practical testament to the significance of the questioning mind." –Kirkus Reviews

More About the Author

I'm a longtime journalist (The New York Times Magazine, Wired, GQ, Reader's Digest) and book author who has written about a variety of subjects over the years--creativity, innovation, and questioning being particular favorites.

I've interviewed and studied hundreds of the world's leading innovators, designers, and creative thinkers to analyze how they ask fundamental questions, solve problems, and create new possibilities. In the past few years, I zeroed in on the power of questioning in our lives. It's a skill we all have innately but it falls into disuse for many of us as we move through school and the business world. And that's a shame. On my blog amorebeautifulquestion.com and in articles for Fast Company and the Harvard Business Review I've written about why questioning leads to innovation, how it can help you be more successful in your career, and how we can all get better at asking the kind of "beautiful questions" that spark change in our businesses and lives.

My "inquiry into the value of inquiry" led to so much fascinating material that it's now a book called A MORE BEAUTIFUL QUESTION: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas, due out from Bloomsbury in March 2014.

My last book was the international bestseller Glimmer: How Design Can Transform Business and Your Life (Penguin; 2009; (retitled "CAD Monkeys, Dinosaur Babies, and T-Shaped People" in the U.S. Penguin paperback).

Find out more about me and my books at http://AMoreBeautifulQuestion.com and http://WarrenBerger.com.




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Customer Reviews

A great question that I have answered "Yes".
T. Pryor
This book gives concrete examples of great questions that are as inspirational as they are informative!
Kevin M. Plummer
I first listened to the audiobook on audible and knew that I needed to buy the book version also.
jamie

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

56 of 60 people found the following review helpful By William R. Welter on March 5, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
When I picked up Warren's book I tore through the first two chapters in a single sitting. And then I hit Chapter 3: The Why, What If, and How of Innovative Questioning. That chapter took a long time -- I kept finding questions that made me want to rethink my consulting practice. Here's the bottom line: this is a good book, well researched and loaded with examples. I've kept a list of favorite books that goes back 35 years -- I just added Warren's book to my list.
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41 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Dan Rothstein on March 4, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I'd like to offer the perspective of someone who was interviewed for this book. Warren Berger did the leg work for this book with great respect for a wide range of people who are all pushing the envelope in their own way, trying to advance our understanding of just how important questions are for innovation, education, creativity and more. He is thought-provoking in his own questioning and thoughtful in his listening. He took in new approaches and considered how they connected to his own ideas about how to use questions effectively, articulated so clearly in this book. He is a skilled writer who allows us to read effortlessly, moving from page to page, whetting our appetite to learn more because he manages to bring so many different perspectives into one insightful narrative. You'll be surprised by how much you learn "just" by thinking about questions. You'll finish the book wiser and better equipped to take on new challenges and generate new ideas.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Cameron on March 12, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
After reading Glimmer, Warren Berger's 2009 book looking at designers and design thinking, I became a fan of sorts and pre-ordered A More Beautiful Question anticipating something good as a follow-up. I wasn't disappointed. Like Glimmer -- and perhaps design thinking -- Berger takes both a deep dive and a broad stroke over his subject matter. This is tough to do well, but Berger pulls it off.

There is something delightful about looking at something that seems so obvious and simple, but is far from simplistic, in detail. Berger goes through the vast swaths of research and evidence on question formation and innovation and blends it seamlessly with anecdotes, observations and questions...lots and lots of questions. To 'live the title' of the book, the text is organized around questions and, at least with the Kindle, the questions are hyperlinked to explanations at the back about their origin and relevance. This feature was wonderful and frustrating -- but largely due to technology. I read using a Nexus tablet, but my preferred reader is the original Kindle. On that latter device, the linking becomes a frustration in that it is sometimes hard to get back to your place. But that's a small point.

Berger's style of writing is engaging, balancing conciseness with informality, and using enough revisiting of ideas in different places in the text to thread ideas throughout the narrative, but not too much to feel repetitive. I loved this just as I loved Glimmer.

What a reader will take from this is that questions are important, that the best (and most consistent) innovators, leaders and scientists are typically great at asking questions and not just providing answers.
Read more ›
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By newyorkertola on April 24, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I think of myself as a curious person and someone who questions the conventional wisdom, so I was naturally curious about a book on questioning. Wasn't sure if it was just going to be a self-help book showing you how to ask better questions, or something more. The answer is, it's a lot more. The book has so many interesting, inspiring stories that show you how somebody used questioning to overcome a problem or create something new. It also explores why we ask a lot of questions as kids, and then suddenly stop (fascinating to see what our schools are doing—and NOT doing—when it comes to stoking kids' curiosity and questioning). There's a good section on business and questioning, where the author makes the case that companies need to encourage more questioning by employees in order to be innovative (I totally agree).

But my favorite part of the book was the section on using questioning in your daily life—i.e., using the right questions to overcome fear of failure, bring more change into your life, and help you figure out what you really want to do with your life. Great, useful stuff. And a good, smooth read on top of all that.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By The Friendship Doctor on April 9, 2014
Format: Hardcover
What I really enjoyed about the book was the combination of interesting stories, and very practical insights and tips. The author shows how people in various fields have used questioning to solve problems and achieve big breakthroughs---something that everyone can apply in their own lives and work.

There's also a fascinating chapter that explores why kids start off asking so many questions—and suddenly stop upon entering school. (The ones who don't stop questioning seem to be many of the people running Silicon Valley and our most successful businesses today). Overall, this is an important book, and also a fun read.

It can also a helpful read for parents and teachers so they don't inadvertently squelch the natural interest and creativity of their kids.
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