Some people think they have all the answers, just ask them any question. Some people have no answers to any questions but they seem to ask more questions than the original question. One thinks they are smart and the other seeks answers so everyone becomes smarter.
When we went to school we were taught to memorize or how to find answers so we could pass the test. The better we were at memorizing or finding answers in books the better grades we got. After all the getting or having the answers made us smart right? Maybe.
What if the answers we seek today are not the correct answers from yesterday? This would mean if we trusted in those answers we’d be making wrong decisions, going in wrong directions and influencing others to do the same. Wrong decisions and wrong directions sends us back not forward, waste time and energy and doesn’t make us smarter from trusting smart answers.
We live in a time where everything is changing rapidly including our knowledge of what works and what doesn’t work in business. Being smart is no longer a matter of college degrees rather it is a matter of being connected to the pulse of the human network. The heart of the network beats with information that is transformed into new knowledge from which emerges smarter answers. Today’s economy is a semantic economy, where everything is connected and what goes on in your organization, is dwarfed by what goes on without. No one person could be smarter than the crowd.
Smarter Is About Learning the Right Question
Greg Satell, writes in Forbes “In the industrial age, planning was essential and scale was supreme. Factories took months to retool, suppliers needed to be found, contracts negotiated. Large organizations succeeded by moving around men and material with coordination and skill. So it shouldn’t be surprising that somewhere along the way planning became synonymous with strategy.
Yet in our new disruptive age, planning is not an option. Technology moves too fast, new connections form and lines between industries blur or disappear altogether. A new disruptive competitor can emerge with blazing speed. It’s not even a question of coming up with the right answers anymore, coming up with the right questions is hard enough.
Coming up with the right question doesn’t have to be hard if business leaders remind themselves that their organization’s job is to serve the interest of the stakeholders. The right question then is “what matters?” The answers are subject to change because the people, places and things that influence the hearts and minds of stakeholders are in a constants state of flux. Such things are intangible and smarter companies know how to learn by asking the right questions about such things.
The influences on the business and its stockholders are more about tangible things like profits. To learn how to make more profits companies still have to get smarter by learning to ask the right questions about what influences the stakeholders. Get it?