THE RIGHT QUESTION

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As for the goal of the game, that’s one of the more interesting elements of the game being discussed these days.  Although profit is certainly necessary to assure the continued existence of the company, should that really be its goal?  Or perhaps profitability is merely a necessary pre-condition for achieving its true goal.  And if so, what might that goal be and how should each company determine it?  The answer to these questions could certainly produce a significant change and people have even begun speaking about a post-capitalism economy.

It’s not only beauty that’s in the eye of the beholder; the same is also true of the dimensions of the games we humans play.  And the bigger one is willing to draw the boundaries in question, the more exciting are the potential changes.  But whether large or small, any significant change almost always begins with the posing of a question.

There are three kinds of questions:

(1) Rhetorical questions, which aren’t really questions at all but rather
disguised statements.  For example:
• “You aren’t really going to wear that shirt with this jacket, are
you?”
• “Do you think the boss doesn’t know what you’re doing?”

(2) Real questions, which are looking for an answer.  Such questions
are actually a request for information.  For example:
• “How many people work in this factory?”
• “Can you finish this report by the end of the week?”

(3) Real questions, which aren’t looking for an answer or for
information, but rather are seeking to open a new field of inquiry
or to create a new possibility.  For example:
• “What if we could eliminate this step in the production process?”
•   “Who will be our customers ten years from now?”

The kind of change that matters, whether large or small, is generated by asking the 3rd kind of question.

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