April 18, 2014

Interviews: Thinker in Residence: Warren Berger on Business & Books

By: Sally Haldorson @ 11:42 PM – Filed under: Innovation & Creativity


"On the big questions of finding meaning, fulfillment, and happiness, we're deluged with answers--in the form of off-the-shelf advice, tips, strategies from experts and gurus. It shouldn't be any wonder if those generic solutions don't quite fit: To get to our answers, we must formulate and work through the questions ourselves."

~Warren Berger

Q&A on Business & Books with Warren Berger, author of A More Beautiful Question

What is the one unanswered question about business you are most interested in answering? WB: How might we encourage more questioning in business—both by business leaders and by those working for them—in a manner that leads to innovation and growth? WB: What business book has influenced your work the most? With regard to influencing A More Beautiful Question, I think I’d have to point to Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit. I think there is an interesting parallel between changing habits and asking questions. I like the way Duhigg analyzed the science of habit formation, provided interesting stories and case studies, and also offered very practical tips that the readers could use. I tried to do much the same with questioning. What is the business book you wish you had written and why? I wish I’d written Give and Take, by Adam Grant. Not just because it is a fascinating, well-researched, and well-written book, but more because it has an extremely positive, uplifting message for business. And based on my conversations with people, I think it is having an impact, for the better, on attitudes and behavior. What business book are you reading right now? I’m going back and forth between two books: Scaling Up Excellence, by Bob Sutton, and To Sell is Human, by Daniel Pink. Both great books, which is to be expected from those two authors.
Warren Berger believes questions are more important than answers. He is the creator of the website and author of the new book A More Beautiful Question (Bloomsbury)—both focusing on the power of inquiry to spark breakthrough ideas. Learn more about Warren Berger and read a review of A More Beautiful Question in our first of three Thinker in Residence posts. Read our Q&A conversation with Warren Berger to gain insight about his new book, A More Beautiful Question, which argues that "one of the most powerful forces for igniting change in business and our daily lives is a simple, under-appreciated tool—one that has been available to us since childhood. Questioning can help us identify and solve problems, come up with innovative ideas, and pursue fresh opportunities."

About Sally Haldorson

Sally Haldorson's job as 800-CEO-READ’s General Manager is to make 800-CEO-READ a great place to work for our employees, and a consistently high-performing customer service organization for our clients, authors, and our partners in the publishing industry. In addition to her General Manager duties ensuring collaboration, integration, and quality, she reads, writes, reviews, curates, and edits for the company. Helping craft The 100 Best Business Books of All Time used parts of both skill sets. Outside of work, she is most likely to be found hitting a tennis ball around or hanging out with her boys (husband, child, dog) at home.