How Pragmatic Inquiry works.


Through a series of exercises developed to override blind spots in planning, Pragmatic Inquiry® provides a practical method of reflection and learning for personal andorganizational success.

This flexible framework of exercises help you — individually or as a group — look at a situation, problem, opportunity or idea from several angles and put it in a more realistic context.

With a better picture of what’s going on, better resource investment decisions can be made.


Create Learning Atmospheres

Executives all say they don’t have enough time for reflection. The structure of the PathFinder provides the method and place for thinking which gets beyond the extremes of either focus on data or the “stream of consciousness” which often does not critically challenge present thinking, assumptions and beliefs.

The goal is to uncover and position Values and Vision as the foundation driving strategies.

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Leverage Multiple Mindsets

Overcoming limitations — in how we choose to see things, or how we tend to process what we see by making it fit what we know, or missing an opportunity because we don’t have any way to see things differently can be achieved by using different Mindsets to ‘see’ with.

Pragmatic Inquiry and The PathFinder suggests several Mindsets to help you ‘see’ in a process that will have you experiencing what you see and know in five ways—

The Begin Attentively phase requires Attention and Humility — having Challenge/questions [Cq], some ideas but unsure of the best ones, and being open to learn.

The Explore Openly phase — where you take in the facts, impressions, memories, observation — engages the sensate, fact-based stance. It requires you to be attentive and objective.

The Interpret Imaginatively step is more imaginative. “Connecting the dots” from the Explore phase, using all your faculties. Be creative, intuitive, open to hunches. See connections that weren’t obvious before. Openly debate and listen — especially to those whom you normally don’t (including your inner voice!). Ask yourself and others: “So What?”

The Decide Responsibly step is thinking, engaging the head. There should be a sense of resolve, urgency and fit with your values, core purpose and goals.

The crucial step of Act(ing) Courageously ignites your decision.

Make plans and set goals, metrics and milestones. The steps leading up to the decision as written in your PathFinder can make a compelling story to engage others.

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Triggering Insights and Opportunities

If the goal of life is some version of “Know Thyself” (“Own Who You Are”) and take action on that, then the reflection in this Pragmatic Inquiry is the full measure of the success of the Inquiry.

Here is where you see, feel and understand through your own evidence, written in your own hand, what is different, and where opportunities are waiting to be explored. You may now see more objectively what truth you have uncovered.

It is especially instructive and impactful for you to read carefully your Inquiry Begin Baseline answer and compare where you are now and what your interpretation of the “evidence of experience” means to you. See how your question and answers have changed. And see the differences in your management practices and habits.

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