Better Innovation & Brainstorming

Better Innovation & Brainstorming – Catalytic Questioning Process  creating #Futurefit Mindsets

The Catalytic Questioning Process – CQP  has 5 simple, steps to help us change our questions and inquiry. This assists with enhancing our ability to creatively solve significant problems.

Catalytic Questioning Process – CQP

CQP Step 1: Find a white board or flip chart where your group or team can do its question-centric work. As in Agile Meetings, standing up seems to ensure the neural fluid is active and jumpstarts better questions than sitting down.

  • Step back for a moment, take a deep calm breath, and do your best to leave your reactions and assumptions at the door.
  • Question-centric leaders consistently work at “cleaning their mental slate of unnecessary limits”.  Looking with new or fresh eyes when tackling a problem is best supported with fresh questions.


QTP Step 2: Pick a Challenge, issue or problem that your team cares about intellectually and emotionally and that impacts some aspect of the organisational performance, Culture, climate or experience.

  • Engaging head and heart are vital. If people don’t care, the next steps will probably stall with very little momentum or energy to move it along to the next step.
  • Ensure that the problem/Challenge is one that you honestly don’t have a viable &  appealing answer to. It makes the quest much more intriguing.

CDQP Step 3: To leverage disruptive innovation… “Question everything!”

  • Engage in entirely “question conversation”.   1 team member writes down each question verbatim. This gives everyone the chance to hear and see each question, reflect a bit, and then work to create even better ones.
  • Rule 1: Don’t give preambles to the questions
  • Rule 2: Don’t devote any time or energy to answering them.
  • Rule 3: Just keep asking questions. Ask as many questions as you can.
  • Go for at least 50, perhaps 75.  Keep pushing in times of silence. Savor the momentary dead space. Then continue the quest for even better, more provocative and appreciative questions.
  • Rule 4:  Patience and persistence. Stick with it for 15 to 20 minutes. Make sure you to exhaust a group’s questioning capacity. Push for exhaustion and deepest questions.


CQP Step 4: Step back and decide which questions seem most “provocative and “catalytic”.

  • 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 excited, open, ready and willing to investigate.
  • Cull through the list until you get to 3 -5 provocative questions that truly matter and have potential to deeply impact your space.


CQP Step 5: Take ACTION!  Explore potential answers, solutions or possibilities./ Find answers. Explore solutions, Experiment with actional possibilities. Start with simple steps…

Action new ideas by experimenting with a series of rapid prototypes—fast, cheap, virtual experiments to get instant feedback about which potential solutions matter most.

After doing your homework as a team, regroup and use the best traditional brainstorming techniques to leverage all your new input into creating even better solutions to your problem.

And if appropriate, rerun the Catalytic Questioning Process again. Delve even deeper for better solutions, to your situation.


Becoming a Question Catalyst Facilitator

At a recent Executive Team Building Retreat workshop, the CQP 5-step system took less than 340 minutes.

Like Appreciative Inquiry, CQP rapidly engages the team members, turbocharges a subsequent Appreciative Inquiry process.  This uncovered several intriguing unexplored areas of potential improvement.

During the team building debrief, most team members loved the power or deep dive questions and were a surprised at the power for revealing innovative solutions.

They continued for the remainder of the team building retreat highly energized and more appreciative. with a promise to be like an Appreciative Coach …to incorporate more and better question within their leadership and management everyday work.


Catalytic Questioning Process ensures this essential leadership and team building skill improves over time to unleash creativity, appreciation, innovation and more effective and collaborative solutions.

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