4.1 Stretch questions in practice

We will now spend some time thinking about and practising asking stretch questions. Asking questions is a real craft and it will take some time to become really good at it, but we are all more than capable of excelling in this practice.

Activity 4 Problems facing your organisation

Timing: (30 minutes)

Visit our discussion forum [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] . Spend 30 minutes thinking about a problem facing your organisation that needs some serious thinking. Start a post describing the problem (no more than 100 words). Make sure you post your comments within the correct thread for this activity. Now find the post of a fellow learner and pose an open question to that person, something that might help the learner think about their problem in a different light. To get you underway, we have posted something about a current issue facing the OU at the present time – so please feel free to practise on us before having a go with your own organisations.


Asking good questions takes time and practice, so don’t be surprised if you have to have a couple of attempts before settling into a rhythm. We will keep an eye on your contributions and help push you in the right direction where we can. Onwards into the unknown!

Practice for the week: stretch questions

Hopefully you have all tried asking some questions of your fellow learners and also received some interesting contributions to your own organisational issues. As with anything (art, sports, music), leadership takes practice. Keep at it. You might want to talk to colleagues at work about these ideas, and share with them that you think it would be worth experimenting with asking more questions in meetings, or simply in general. If you do this, make a note of your experiences in your learning journal – you will appreciate recording these thoughts, as they will provide you with a valuable record of your progress that you can revisit in the future.

4 Stretch questions and wicked problems