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A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  4,015 ratings  ·  440 reviews
In this groundbreaking book, journalist and innovation expert Warren Berger shows that one of the most powerful forces for igniting change in business and in our daily lives is a simple, under-appreciated tool—one that has been available to us since childhood. Questioning—deeply, imaginatively, "beautifully"—can help us identify and solve problems, come up with game-changi ...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published March 4th 2014 by Bloomsbury USA (first published January 1st 2014)
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Sam Diener Hi Steve,
Yes. I have been utilizing some of the RQI methods in my high school psychology, history and college peace studies classes. Instead of feedin…more
Hi Steve,
Yes. I have been utilizing some of the RQI methods in my high school psychology, history and college peace studies classes. Instead of feeding students essential questions the way I have in the past, I used the RQI's ( suggestion of providing what they call a "QFocus" (a prompt designed to elicit a large number of questions). What I've appreciated is that almost all students do seem more motivated to investigate the topics when their curiosity has been primed by generating questions. (less)

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Cindy Rollins
Feb 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobooks, 2016
I read quite a few of these kinds of books and mostly they are at best only somewhat helpful. This book was far beyond merely helpful, it was inspirational. After listening to this on audio, I am now trying to decide whether to buy it in Kindle or as a hard copy in order to grab the quotes and questions I loved most. The first two chapters were enthralling to me because they centered on education. How can we set our children and students free to ask questions? It is certainly not by presenting e ...more
David Sasaki
Dec 07, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle
This is one of those books that would have been twice as good if it were half as long. You’d be better off selecting the best posts from the blog that eventually gave rise to the book. Still, I loved the concept, and there is no shortage of interesting examples of the benefits of asking questions.

Children are notorious for their questions. According to one estimate, they ask around 40,000 questions between ages two and five, driving their parents crazy in the process. Then something happens and
Daisy Azer
May 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
For the 99.999 Percent

In short, if you want better answers and more innovative solutions, you need to work on your ability to ask better questions and this is the book to help you do just that. If you want to connect and communicate more deeply and productively, then you want to practice the type of master questioning that this book describes.

Very few of us are pursuing our lives with such conviction that there is no room for improvement. Those who are leading such lives do so because they are
Fabrizio Bianchi
Feb 19, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
I don't know if Americans just love to fall for stuff like this, but for me, as a European and as a former scientist, this extremely cheap take on the great topic of the Art (or science) to ask questions sounds almost offensive. No methods of proper formulation of questions is presented in the book, the domain of science, where questions are the daily bread, is completely skipped in favor of entrepreneurship examples that sound like advertising.
The use of question asking as a social skill is al
Jul 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
While this is not specifically aimed at educators, a great deal of learning can occur when we direct students to consider questions rather than answers. In education there is usually a right and a wrong answer. If we are preparing learners to succeed in the 'real world' then we need to ensure they know how to ask questions. This book gets you started on considering questions. Instead of giving tests the only measure one's ability to memorize, give tests that allow learners to pose and answer que ...more
Jun 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars
A useful and readable review of some of the powers and approaches in exploratory questioning.
Floris Wolswijk
Feb 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Why Question in the First Place?

Time is a most precious finite resource. Most people (in business) are always busy. Business leaders are always anxious to act and do. But they forget to question just if what they are doing is the right thing. In A More Beautiful Question Warren Berger argues that we should take more time to think and ask questions.

Berger argues for a very specific type of questions to ask: Questions that are ambitious yet actionable and that can change the way we perceive or thi
Pete Welter
Oct 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Humans are naturally wired to seek simple cause and effect stories. If A then B. If we change A this way then B changes that way.

Unfortunately, most of the world isn't that way, whether it's the natural world, our culture or (to the greatest extent) with the relationships between people. Situations are much more nuanced, more complex, and much less predictable than we think, but because we don't have time (or knowledge) to reflect on everything we encounter in the world to that depth, we tend to
This book didn’t really catch fire with me. Why, as we grow up, we lose the ability to throw out powerful, generative questions is a subject worthy of inquiry. All the more so as this dwindling capacity is very often associated with damaging implications for our personal wellbeing and professional success. This beautiful question does not lead to an equally compelling answer, however. Warren Berger gets lost in a territory that has been thoroughly mapped in decades of studies on innovation, crea ...more
Marc Matthews
Oct 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this one. It had a lot of inspirational thinking about focusing on the right question, but also some very real-life applications I put to work immediately. "Framestorming", brainstorms that focus only on the right question, was an immediate win.
Mar 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
A comforting read. A good reminder that you don't necessarily need the answers, as long as you're asking the right questions.
Mar 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I just loved this book. Provocative. Energizing!
Mohammed alkindy
Mar 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
interesting to learn that asking a good question is an art and can be learned and it is more important to ask a good question than the answer itself. the combination of why, how and what if are good place to start. from now on i think i will try to lean more towards questioning than looking for answer for a change
Pete Wung
Jun 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I was walking around Politics and Prose in Washington DC when I came upon this relative thin book. The title intrigued me so I started look into it. At first the book did not appeal to me much, although some of the chapters did seem interesting. I ended up buying it as a part of my personal mission to find anything and everything regarding improving myself and spurring my thinking process.

I am very glad that I did because this book has turned into one of those books that has affected my world vi
Oct 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
In "A More Beautiful Question", author Warren Berger poses the ultimate meta-question: why do we not question? The entire book is an exploration on the art of questioning and its inherent power, which Berger sustains is not only an increasingly pivotal skill in our futures but also the biggest underlying reason why creative people have succeeded.

What really got me engaged with this book was the notion that young children question the hell out of everything yet this very nature becomes subdued to
Cheryl Keller
May 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
I've always been interested in good questions, intrigued from childhood Sunday School days by the biblical admonition to "ask and you shall receive." This book is an easy and interesting read about using questions, with children, with colleagues, and even with yourself. There are some great stories of how questions led to breakthroughs in products, in scientific thinking, in philanthropic work, and other areas. And, this is the first book with an index to all the questions in the book!

My top 5
Michael Burnam-Fink
Jun 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, 2017
A More Beautiful Question is a flashy journey through the power of questioning to spark dialog, to bring people together, to upset the world, and too innovate. Berger synthesizes a lot of experience as journalist to look at the role that questioning plays in creativity, and develops a simple model based around "Why?-->What If?-->How?"

This book is best when it's selling ideas: Montessori schools as an antidote to how public schools beat questioning out of kids, the people at The Right Question I
Jen Crichton
Nov 26, 2014 rated it liked it
The skill of crafting questions, the importance of asking questions, and the recognition of one's right to pose questions are all essential to our democracy and to a quest for genuine knowledge and innovative change. The Right Question Institute -- which is glancingly alluded to in this book -- has these tenets at the heart of its mission, and its materials and protocols are far more helpful and insightful than this book. A MORE BEAUTIFUL QUESTION relies on recycled stories and research, and cov ...more
K Lafo
Mar 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
A fascinating, educational and engaging read! In a society characterized by information glut, Berger argues that strong inquiry, rather than fact-retention, is the key to creative problem solving. As a teacher interested in project-based and inquiry-based learning, I was intrigued by the title and I was not disappointed. The book tells the stories of questioners who impacted their career fields, and by extension, our world, while outlining questioning techniques that lead to fresh perspectives o ...more
Dave Summers
Mar 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Very well executed book on the subject and strategy of inquiry. Not just asking questions, but asking the right questions. Berger has done a crazy amount of homework, interviewing many of today's most recognized business thought leaders, and the result is both an awesome collection of relevant stories and an impressive strategy guide for how to get started, and where to go after that start. Recommended.
Jun 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A More Beautiful Question is a beautiful book. Berger uses real life examples to illustrate different methods of asking questions that lead to greater creativity, innovation, solutions, success in business and personal happiness. It introduces the reader to a world of people who utilize these methods and what they have accomplished. It is both philosophical and concrete in its approach and littered with nuggets of wisdom and eye-opening ideas. I highly recommend it.
Jan 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Mark by: Andra
The writing style is engaging, as Berger constantly is using very specific stories to illustrate his concepts. It's an inspiring read, and one that does not feel like a TED talk stretched into a book-length work (which I feel I'm seeing too much of in recent readings).
Anissa C.
Dec 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Great book. Offers a fresh approach to growth and success in all facets of life. The approach, at its core, embodies looking at the world around us with a sense of wonder, interest and intrigue
Lim Lyn
Feb 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
The book is structured into chapters of question which was a refreshing way of laying out the facts. It highlights how being curious and asking the right type of questions can lead us to consider things that we might not have even dream off

Reading this book helped me bring together several thoughts I have about creativity and innovation. A few interesting points I found are

1. Asking questions is instant but don’t expect the answer to come immediately.
- answers need time and we need to allow o
Jun 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Berger's book took me a year to read. My persistence shows how much I valued the book. The length of time it took me reflects partly the competing responsibilities of my life and the density of the text. In part, I mean this literally. About every third page of the book contains an inserted text box with a side story presented in a font several sizes smaller than the main text. I read every one, but often found myself resenting how they took me away from the main flow of the text. Ultimately I t ...more
Jun 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
What more could you ask for in a book like this? It's well-written, interesting, instructive, and thought-provoking. It's enlivened by numerous quick and good stories of creative types, entrepreneurs, and innovators from multiple professions. It flips the usual way of attacking a challenge by making a convincing case that the best solution is often a question. And it offers an array of methods to put good questions to work on the job, in the family, in creativity, and more. It's a wonderful litt ...more
Jessica F
Jan 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Super thought-provoking! Loved all the stories of amazing questions throughout history - questions that led to the invention of better cancer screening devices, the world wide web, the airbnb concept (just to name a few). We learn through stories, and the in-depth look at the questions these innovators asked was really powerful. I think the technique is simple yet profound. Could have gone for more guidance in the HOW stage - pulling oneself out of the deep dive and putting the rubber to the roa ...more
Aug 08, 2019 rated it liked it
I finished first half of the book and cannot continue the rest. The author shared many good stories to prove the importance of questioning. I have jotted down some interesting questions from the book.
When I started the book, I expected that the author will share practices of questioning skills and deeper knowledge about different types of questions.
Anyway, thanks for sharing the stories!
Hannah Oppenheimer
Good book I read for our Book Club at work, with lots of quotes underlined, and definitely changed how i approach some problem solving and communication, but it would’ve been better as a shorter book of just the first three chapters.
Dec 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A thoughtful (and thought-provoking) examination of the importance that questioning plays (or should play) in our lives, education, careers, and in our society at large. As a parent, I've tried to instill and nurture a sense of curiosity in my children; I hope for their future that I've been at least partially successful. As the author quotes Bertrand Russell: "In all affairs it's a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you take for granted."
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I’m an author and speaker on innovation, creativity, and the power of questioning. I invite fellow curious thinkers to join me in exploring the power of inquiry to spark breakthrough ideas on my questioning site. My latest book is THE BOOK OF BEAUTIFUL QUESTIONS, a follow up to the bestselling A MORE BEAUTIFUL QUESTION, both published by Bloomsbury Worldwide. ...more

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