Don't begin by asking for solutions? Ask for Catalytic Questions!

The technique is one we recommend and it called Catalytic Questioning.

Question of the Month and Catalytic Questions

Clearly within Question of the Month, the emphasis is on Questions.


“ Catalytic Questioning ” is a systematic approach to uncovering the right questions—those that start to unlock entirely different solutions and perspectives.

It was developed By Professor Gregersen of Harvard University and has been widely proven as an effective technique.

Professor Gregersen writes:

At the core of an innovative and capable leadership is the ability to uncover and ask questions that will lead to new and innovative areas. It is often the case that leaders inherently are shielded from the information they need to do their job effectively. The best and most innovative leaders, though, engage an interesting set of tactics …

The method incorporates four simple steps to help change our questions — and creatively solve significant problems.

Step 1:

Pick a problem that your team cares about intellectually and emotionally. Engaging head and heart matter—if your team doesn’t care, the next steps will undoubtedly stall. Make sure that the problem is one that you honestly don’t have an answer to.

These may be framed within three legal areas: Litigation, Transactional Law and The Business of Law, i.e. internal process improvement. Or there is scope for Wild Cards too!


Step 2:

“Question everything!” Engage in pure question talk. This gives everyone the chance to see each question, reflect a bit, and then create even better ones. Don’t give preambles to the questions and don’t devote any time or energy to answering them. Just ask.

As many questions as possible are asked.

Step 3:

Step back and decide which questions on your list seem most “catalytic,” or which ones hold the most potential for disrupting the status quo. Focus on a few questions that your team honestly can’t answer but is ready and willing to investigate.

Winnow your questions down to three or four that truly matter.

Step 4:

These become Challenges in the form of a Question of the Month and answers are sought within the OrganisedFeedback crowd sourcing process. 

John M