Inquiry is about questions. It is approaching every interaction, every situation, every opportunity with questions about what can be learned in this moment, in this situation, with this person. In the emergent, unpredictable world of complex systems, inquiry is the only way you can move forward.


Standing in inquiry enables you to gather information you need to see, understand, and influence patterns of interaction and decision making that shape your world. When your world cannot be predicted or controlled, answers have a short shelf life, but good questions help you find options for action to move toward resilience and sustainability.

So What?

You gather information from your environment to make decisions and take action in your world. Standing in inquiry enables you to see clearly and remain open to the reality around you. In HSD, stand in inquiry when we:

  • Turn judgment into curiosity
  • Turn disagreement into shared exploration
  • Turn defensiveness into self-reflection
  • Turn assumptions into questions

Now What?

When you stand in inquiry, you exhibit patterns of behavior that help you see, understand, and influence your world. When you stand in inquiry you:

  • Ask questions you can't answer
    • seek to understand people you disagree with
    • Explore "What if..." questions to understand possible consequences to an action
  • Find comfort with ambiguity
    • Invite people into conversations where you look for answers together
    • Ask others what they see and listen deeply to their insights
  • Remain open to and actively seek new learning
    • Ask others to teach you what they know
    • Identify skills you don't have and find a teacher who will help you learn
  • Consider your own personal interactions through a lens of inquiry
    • Ask colleagues to share perceptions of your impact on them
    • Open yourself to learning from others about what they need
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