Some questions we pose as consultants are 'good-looking ones'. I mean they will always draw a fulsome response. For instance, if you ask some people in a 'coasting' organisation 'what are the barriers to achieving excellence here?' they will probably give you a list long enough to make your ears bleed.
However, for every good looking question there is always an 'ugly' one just round the corner. The one here is 'What have you done about these barriers?' These are questions which must be posed and confronted, which unearth living defensive routines, and must be transformed for there to be any sustainable change.

What is your experience? What tin-opening questions do you use? What feedback have you had on them?
Donal Carroll

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Comment by Imelda on October 17, 2010 at 9:02
Two questions that I used in my last evaluation of a CBO
1. What would you do differently if you were to start the same project today?
2. In the light of your experience in this field / area, what recommendations or advice would you give an upcoming CBO.
These helped us to come up with possible solutions to some of the challenges that the CBO was facing.
Comment by Donal Carroll on August 1, 2009 at 9:03
Nice one DS, thanks DC
Comment by Donal Carroll on July 28, 2009 at 13:53
Hi Belina Thanks for this. Nice one. What happened then? Did it get peoiple to where change was needed earlier? Have a glance at
on my website. It's on the front page 'Innovation tools'; one is on using metaphors (Avoiding jam at Newmarket races), the other on the stages we use with customers. What ya think?
Best Donal
Comment by Belina Raffy on July 27, 2009 at 7:42
Very thought provoking post, Donal. One set of questions I use is around metaphors. If this organisation was an animal, which would it be. It tends to open up a good discussion around attributes (what talents is that animal known for, what are it's draw backs, how is the bio-diversity of this organisation, etc.) Had a funny experience using this in an organisation. One person put 'meerkats', meaning everyone looking out for each other - creative, playful, etc. Yet a few months before, some of that group had done some research on meerkats and found out that the groups in the wild are run by very bossy alpha females. The organisation was run by a woman who clarified whether THAT meaning was reflected in the wasn't...but it was a good lesson on how to unexpectedly open a tin of worms...

Best wishes,


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