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Art & the Power of Questions

Katie Stadius
Jul 30, 2021 9:45:15 AM

What question have you always wanted, but you think it is impossible to answer? That question may have the ability to change how you talk to your stakeholders and make organizations decisions.

As we completed the rollout of the Zartico Operating System 2.0, the advisor team has been challenging our partners to bring forth the unanswerable questions. We recognize that asking the right question can be harder than answering it. Usually, the conversation starts small, “I want to know who is visiting and when,” or “I want to cut down on my team's time spent pulling numbers.” We have answers to those questions. Then, as we start talking about what stories the OS can bring to the forefront, the questions start coming faster and begin hinting at what the underlying “big question.” And finally, that “impossible” question, to which we think there is no answer, comes to the forefront.

One partner asked me if there was a way to show the need for public transportation during major events in their city. Their goal is to get more public funding to help with infrastructure, which would benefit everyone—residents and visitors—not just event attendees who are in the city for 10 days per year.

Another asked how they should be communicating their strategic goals with their board, stakeholders, and local government through the Zartico Operating System. They want to increase awareness and buyoff, to show the value of being a data-led organization. Their goal is to evolve from presenting data and reports, to leading storytelling about the tourism economy to their stakeholders.

When we can answer the “impossible” question, we often answer the original questions and uncover more stories to dig into. This creates a cycle of curiosity, which evokes critical thinking and organizational change. It allows our partners to become the champion of their destination, both in sharing their offerings to potential travelers and sharing their results to their stakeholders.

I love questions and curiosity. Millions saw the apple fall, only Newton was curious enough to ask why.


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