Asking the wrong questions

Why do some companies seem to be able to catapult their thinking and are fully engaged with their customers while other companies blissfully churn out more of the same mediocre stuff? I think in many ways it comes down to asking the right questions.

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve heard many questions asked in company meetings. For instance, I’ve heard a midsized company ask, “Where should we place our ads?” This question is fine but will continue their ho-hum results. Instead, they should be asking themselves, “How can become irreplaceable?”

I heard another company, when referring to their products, ask, “How do we not offend anyone?” They thought that carefully shaping their product in such a way as to include every possible consumer would get them a bigger piece of the pie when in reality they were baking a pie that no one wanted. What they should have asked themselves is, “How do we fend off anyone who doesn’t belong?”

Asking the right questions boils down to motivation – do we really want to face the truth and continually improve and innovate or is the name of the game to simply pad our comfortable habits and not make any waves that may possibly get us in trouble? (It’s the “blue pill”, “red pill” mentality from the Matrix).

So, if you’re asking a question, make sure it’s the right one. By the way, here’s some more good stuff about questions.

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One Response

  1. Thanks for the linkage (I’m a little behind here).

    I see asking – and answering – the right questions as you’ve described as at least a top 3 concern for any business. Look in the mirror and take a realistic look at yourself.

    The problem is that we never see each other accurately in the mirror. We tilt our head subconsciously to the best angle, or change our expressions, or whatever. Have you ever looked at pictures of yourself and wondered “Man, I had no idea I looked like that”?

    More times than not, you need someone on the outside looking in to at least get the questions right, then hold you to the fire to answer them accurately.

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