Challenging students to grapple with real-life questions can help them to grasp abstract concepts, notes Cornell business school professor Robert H. Frank. That’s why Frank asks his pupils to “pose an interesting question based on something they have observed or experienced—and then employ basic economic principles in an attempt to answer it.” Case in point: Frank’s student Peter Hlawitschka asked, Why do tickets for popular Broadway shows command premium prices, while movie theaters charge the same price no matter how hot the show is? Hlawitschka’s explanation, as shared by Frank in a New York Times article, is that unlike on Broadway, additional copies of a popular movie can be inexpensively made and shown many times a day on multiple screens. With low prices, movie theater owners can fill many more seats and generate far more revenue than if they charged premium prices for a more limited number of screenings.
A few Question quotes
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Want to be a better critical thinker? Questions can be a powerful way to spot false narratives and “weaponized lies.” Read more about it in this article I wrote for The Atlantic’s Quartz.com.
The following eight questions—shared by a noteworthy lineup of entrepreneurs, innovators, consultants, and creative thinkers—can help you figure out where your heart lies and what you really ought to be doing.
I don’t know if they qualify as “beautiful questions” but there’s something oddly fascinating about the imaginative questions that band leader Reggie Watts asks the guests of James Corden’s The Late Late Show.
At the 2016 Capital Coaches Conference I’ll be discussing my belief that coaches, who already know the power of great questions, should teach their clients how to become beautiful questioners themselves.
In The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever, by Michael Bungay Stanier, Michael shares 7 powerful questions that can make someone a better leader or manager.