Assignment #5: A More Beautiful Question

Assignment #5: A More Beautiful Question

Assignment #5: A More Beautiful Question


  • Due Jun 26 by 11:59pm
  • Points 25
  • Submitting a file upload
  • Available Jun 12 at 12am – Jun 26 at 11:59pm 15 days

Assignment #5: A More Beautiful Question

We’re all hungry for better answers.  But first, we need to learn to ask the right questions.

A More Beautiful Question ~ Warren Berger (2014, p. 9)

Why is asking “more beautiful questions” the key to sparking and sustaining creativity at work?   Berger’s book will expand your understanding of this complex question and its rich answer.  The techniques he outlines will equip you to bring out the creative genius within yourself and others.  Asking more beautiful questions is vital for sparking our collaborative discovery and understanding of the challenges we face and sustaining our collective efforts to create innovative solutions.  Dig into Berger’s book as it offers you the keys to a gold mine of organizational creativity!  Remember, this is why we study organizational communication–to change how we communicate so we change how we organize so we change our outcomes for the better.  If we change the questions we ask and how we ask them, then we can reorganize ourselves and our work into sources of creativity and innovation.  


Your report will be based on Ch. 1-4 (pp. 11 – 174).   Please read Berger’s Introduction (pp. 1-10), as it is thought provoking and gives a brief overview of the book; however, I won’t ask you to summarize ideas from it.  Knowing time is so limited, I also won’t asked you to summarize insights from Ch. 5–Questioning for Life, although it is a great chapter (read it later this summer)!  Added bonus: an Index of Questions (pp. 247-256); it lists all the questions raised throughout the book.  As Berger wrote, “If facts are entitled to an index, then why not questions?” (p. 8).  This index of questions will help as you begin generating and asking questions about your work/workplace/etc. and collaborate with others to develop creative answers and innovative solutions. 

For Chapters 1-4, extract the best new ideas/issues/lessons/insights/principles/questions from each chapter.  

Note: As a journalist, Berger loves a good story and he tells a lot of them well!  Do not repeat the extended details of stories or examples Berger uses to illustrate ideas and develop his chapters.  Repeating those stories would fill up too much space.  Rather, focus on extracting the most valuable ideas/issues/lessons/insights/principles/questions that can be applied from his book.  These become the communication content and strategies that you apply to overcome barriers and spark the ongoing expression of creativity.  

Note: I am NOT asking for your personal critique of/reaction to the book’s content.  Do not fill the body of the paper with your personal stories/experiences/reflections.  The conclusion provides you a place to include these personal reactions/critiques/stories/reflections.

Conclusion—As always, the conclusion is the most important part of the paper.

·       How did Berger’s book change your thinking about questions and asking questions at work?  How did this book expand your sense of self-efficacy to spark and sustain organizational creativity via questions/questioning processes? 

·       Not all workplaces/coworkers/leaders/managers embrace “more beautiful questions!”  How will you change that?  Based on specific ideas you outlined above from Berger’s book, which new insights and techniques will you apply to change/guide the communication processes that spark and sustain organizational creativity?  Explain/provide examples of these.  

·       Think back to when you started COM 685!  Scan over your earlier reports.  How did your overall understanding of the interdependence between “creativity” and “communication” processes change?  How did Berger’s book deepen this understanding?  How will these deeper understandings and new communication competencies benefit your work as a manager/leader/coworker?

·       How did Berger’s book enhance/enrich your philosophy (i.e., set of core values and beliefs) of organizational communication?  

·       Finally, what additional concluding stories/reactions/critiques/questions/reflections do you have?    

Format:  NO cover page; no reference page; no introduction.  Type your name and “Assignment #5: A More Beautiful Question; Berger, 2014” at the top of the page one and begin with Ch. 1.   

Use headings: Use the titles of each chapter as your main headings.  “Conclusion” will be your final heading. 

No more than 25% of your paper should be direct quotes.  The vast majority of your paper will be paraphrased content. 

Plagiarism reminder: To avoid plagiarizing Berger’s content, always place direct “quotes in quotations” and include the author/year/page number(s), e.g., “Often the worst thing you can do with a difficult question is to try to answer it too quickly” (Berger, 2014, p. 34).   

Length is 7-8 double-spaced pages (hint: 5 pages and few sentences is not “6 pages”!).   

One inch margins; tab the first line of each new paragraph; NO indentations so margins remain one inch for paragraphs.

Use 10-12 point Calibri or Times New Romans font.

Evaluation: Your paper will be evaluated on quality of expression, depth of insights, clarity of applications, grammatical/mechanical quality, and conformity to the above guidelines.