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Out Think: How Innovative Leaders Drive Exceptional Outcomes by Tim Sanders, G. Shawn Hunter

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Chapter 3

Inquiry: Provoke with Questions, Not Answers

The most serious mistakes are not being made as a result of wrong answers. The truly dangerous thing is asking the wrong question.

—Peter Drucker

A week or so before New Year's Day 2011, my mother, Bev Hunter, was diagnosed with advanced mantle cell lymphoma—a particularly pernicious form of lymphoma. She almost immediately began an aggressive chemotherapy protocol that destroys not only cancer cells, but also healthy ones.

The collateral damage to the body can be devastating, and I was astonished to discover the number of countermeasures that oncologists, nurses, and clinicians use to help bolster the body's ability to withstand the amount of internal damage chemotherapy can inflict. There are various kinds of antibiotics (to aid the suppressed immune system), intravenous hydration cocktails (to help flush the high volume of toxins created by the chemotherapy's destruction of cells), drugs (to support kidney function), and a litany of other supporting countermeasures I can't begin to understand.

My mother has always been a smart, curious person, willing to take on the challenges of life. Instead of being overwhelmed by the complexity and life-threatening nature of her situation, she instead turned into her own advocate and harnessed the talents of those around her to develop a strategy for determining the best way to handle her situation and embark on the greatest innovation journey of her life—saving it. She created a team ...

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