Snapshot: The foundation of the 4-24 Project rests on you setting aside just 4 minutes every 24-hours (totaling one full day each year) to ask nothing but questions about your most vexing personal or professional challenge that day. Consider it a “QuestionBurst” as you rapidly dump all the questions out of your head. Once the 4 minutes is complete, identify the “best” questions and start answering them. Write all your questions down in a “Question Journal” so you can start tracking progress around your questioning capacity over time, and be sure to share your own journey here.
- Choose an opportunity, challenge or wicked hard problem.
- Take an emotion temperature check. Do you feel positive, neutral or negative about the challenge? In 10 seconds or less, write down your response.
- Articulate your problem. Spend no more than two minutes articulating in what way you are stuck to a partner or small group.
- Brainstorm questions. Spend four minutes brainstorming questions. Only Questions! No answers! No explanations about why you’re asking the question!
- Repeat emotion check. Are you more positive than you were four minutes ago? Write down your response. If you are not feeling a bit more positive, try Step 4 again right now or at another time.
- Review and revise your questions. Sort through the questions and look for the ones suggesting new pathways to better answers. Any promising angles? Select a couple of questions or perhaps a few that you care deeply enough about that you want to do something about them.
- Commit to pursuing that angle as a truth-seeker during the next two weeks.
Example: Suppose you’re having trouble gaining customer awareness for a new product. Spend 4 minutes asking just questions around this challenge (for example, “Why aren’t customers noticing this product? If money was no object, what could we do to change this?”)