Hal Gregersen is Executive Director of the MIT Leadership Center and Senior Lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management. His new book is Questions Are the Answer: A Breakthrough Approach to your Most Vexing Problems at Work and In Life. Hal has been ranked one of the world’s 25 most influential management thinkers by Thinkers50 and was winner of the 2017 Distinguished Achievement Award for leadership. He’s co-authored ten books, including The Innovator’s DNA: Mastering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators. He is also founder of The 4-24 Project, an initiative dedicated to rekindling the provocative power of asking the right questions in adults so they can pass this crucial creativity skill onto the next generation. He is the creator of a unique executive development experience Leadership and the Lens: Learning at the Intersection of Innovation and Image-Making a course that draws on his two passions – photography and innovation–to teach participants how to ask radically better questions and change their impact as leaders.
In this episode Stew and Hal discuss the importance of posing questions and allowing them to sink in rather than jumping to answers and solutions. They talk about the ways in which putting yourself in a novel, even uncomfortable, situation compels you to ask questions that not only inform your understanding but can also challenge your grasp of the status quo. Hal provides a compelling example of his method for setting aside a four full minutes to do nothing but generate questions about a given dilemma or challenge and how that exercise alone can alter one’s perspective. For more about Hal, go to halgregersen.com and for those who are curious about Stew’s father’s photography, which they discussed, check out http://victorfriedmanphotography.com/.