To improve the way we serve our policyholders and each other we should each ask Why, What if, and How this can be done.
“Why” questions are ideal for coming to grips with existing shortcomings or inefficiencies and will help us to understand why they exist, why they haven’t been solved already and why it might be worth tackling. Of course, just asking “why,” without acting on that question, is not likely to produce change but is a prerequisite for this improvement and needs to begin with the pondering of current practices and why things are done the way they are. This is an important point of departure before imagining the alternate possibilities.
“What if” questions can be used to explore fresh ideas for possible improvement or solutions to problems. These What if possibilities are the seeds of all innovation.
And when it’s time to act on these ideas, the most effective types of questions are practical, action-oriented ones that focus on “how”. Answers to these “how” questions will give form to your ideas, transforming the possible into reality. This is the action stage of inquiry and yet it should still be driven by questions which may include: How do I take the first steps to implement? How do I overcome my co-worker’s resistance to change? How do I test its effectiveness? How do I gauge what works and what doesn’t? If I find it’s not working, how do I figure out what’s wrong and fix it? And How do I engender the support required?
Of course coming up with the correct answers is important too but often easier than you’d think if it starts with the right questions.
Why, What if and How.