Powerful Questions

This weekend I was in a design call for an upcoming Leadership Symposium for a health care system. One of my colleagues, Toke Moeller offered the questions below as a a general framing for an agenda. I have learned there is an art to asking powerful questions and that the questions are a tool to focus a group in its learning and exploring. Eric Vogt, Juanita Brown, and David Isaacs have an excellent article on this topic. What I like about these questions in particular is they come from core assumptions, core process assumptions, about how a system, in this case a health care system, can be in transformative thinking. I’ve noted some of those core assumptions that I see below the questions.

How will we together create our short and long term solutions to care for our future health care system in Ontario?

What am I will to let go of and what am I inspired to contribute to be part of co leading a healthy health care system in Ontario?

What is a wise overall approach and practices that we all are willing to work within, practice and support for us to find the next level of our health care system in Ontario?

Together create — intractable problems and outrageous dreams require social technologies that support working together

Short and long term solutions — the work that we do must be grounded in solutions to real needs and purposes

Care for a system — transformation requires tending not just to the demands of the moment, but to the capacity of a system to support itself, including the relationships

Willing to let go — letting go is a choice; innovation requries some choosing to let go

Inspired to contribute — wisdom comes from many realms; innovative solutions are born from offerings and contributions

Co-leading — the best that we know on solutions that last is that they come from shared ownership and creation

Practice and support — innovative solutions don’t come tested; they come with challenges that require a commitment to practice, a willingness to make mistakes, and an agreement to support each other in levels of unknowing

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