For each of these conversations you must establish an atmosphere of genuine exploration. These eight topics are meant to open the doors of perception to new possibilities, creating an environment where half-baked ideas can emerge for examination and development, insights can form, and new possibilities can edge their way into view.
1. What is the best
possible thing that can happen as a result of our efforts?
a. What performance improvement is possible as a result?
b. What could this mean to you, me, and us?
2. How do new ideas
successfully take root in our culture?
a. Where has success happened in the past?
b. What innovations have we operationalized with good results before?
3. Where do the
trajectories of our efforts converge?
a. What are the possible synergies if we are both successful?
b. How can we leverage each other’s results?
4. What motivates you to
a. What is the source of your inspiration, yor motivation?
b. How can this be leveraged for even greater returns?
5. What would be the
consequences if we were both successful?
a. Can we describe this world?
b. How would individual and organizational work be improved?
6. If we were to
generate dramatic results, what partnerships would we rely on?
a. Who else must be involved in our achievements?
b. How do we provide returns to them?
7. What prerequisites
do we both rely on to achieve big wins?
a. What can we do to ensure we have what we need?
b. Where can we combine efforts to ensure success?
How can our
interdependence be improved?
a. What are the opportunities for mutual leverage?
b. Where can we exceed expectations by working together?
Seth Kahan is a Change Leadership specialist. He has consulted with CEOs and executives in over 50 world-class organizations that include Shell, World Bank, Peace Corps, Marriott, Prudential, American Society of Association Executives, International Bridge Tunnel and Turnpike Association, Project Management Institute, and NASA. He is the founder of Seth Kahan’s CEO Leaders Forum, a community of CEOs working together to innovate through the current economy. His next book, Getting Change Right: Guaranteeing Buy-In from Your Most Valuable Players, will be published in spring 2010 by Jossey-Bass.Visit his other blog, GettingChangeRight.com  for more info on the book.