#127- Which is Better? Question or Answer?

Podcast #127 Which is Better? Questions or Answers?

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Carol’s topic for discussion: Examine knowledge sourcing and the importance of questions versus answers. 

Do you know what the #1 determiner is of how intelligent and innovative you can be, your workforce can be, and your business as a whole can and will behave?

Most people would say Genetics or IQ, but know this answer may not be as obvious. Carol frames it as “epistemology”. That is, what we hold as how we can know stuff, learn new stuff and how  we considered it as acceptable source that learning and discover. We see our search for knowledge as a given way to discover things, and it is almost always unexamined. But if you believe knowledge and understanding is acquired by one means versus another, you may be setting up pre-formed boxes and what is inside is the only place in which intelligence and creativity can happen.


    • Ask yourself what you think about something that you are pretty sure of?
    • How about treating people with respect and kindness will put them in a better state.


  • Now ask, ‘how did I come to hold that is true? How did you source that idea?


    • Reading, listening to podcasts, or listening to a role model. For Zac, this is his grandmother who used to say “you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.” 


  • So we borrow ideas from people you consider an expert or acceptable source. They are particular sources we access in pursuit of knowledge. Do you understand how they go to that idea?


    • Credibility could stem from research or passed down hearsay, but how does this affect the source of information? 


  • Another question may help guide… Which is more important? Questions or Answers?


  • Most would say answers because they can use them immediately.
  • Even if you don’t know how they came to those answers? How do you vet them? Most people do it with whether they fit with their existing framework of their identity. A grandson, a motivation consulting.  Or, if it is published by their accepted source? Does the community you are in, accept this answer.  
    • So if it is not ‘answers’,  then maybe it is both- questions and answers so you have a little context or background for the answers? . 
      • It does relate to epistemology as well as to intelligence and innovation. And the success of you in life, your business and of all the people you affect working on change and learning. 

Three Epistemologies to Guide Knowledge and Answer Sourcing

Let’s explore it relative to 3 epistemologies. Your job as a reader is to consider from whom you tend to seek knowledge, how to test it, or not.

  • Expert, Empirical (laboratory and scientific studies)  and the big alternative, Imaging life and things alive, “at work in their ecosystem.”
    • And there is no Google listings for the Danger of Experts. Only for dangers faced by experts. Why it matters is, as  something gets more complex, it has many moving aspects and leaves the realm of the observable (therefore empirical) it climbs up the three to the top, imaging things at work,  to get any useful understanding.
      • What would happen if we could all think of the big, right questions. The good news is it is not only possible but can then help us each work on democracy working and planetary processes. 
    • Let’s look at why this is needs to be in everyone’s wheelhouse across the company and what every company or nation you are in.
      • It is a capacity all humans have but it undeveloped. It leaves us with human systems with low functioning, uncritically thinking citizens.
      • Secondly, the business explodes with exponentially growth when this innate capability is developed, and work is designed for them to apply it. 
      • There are some very clear clues to which epistemology is in the consultant’s mind and practice. But it also invited you to watch yourself and see how easy it is to fall into an expert model. 
      • A few quick guidelines may help sort out the experts approach and practice from the future Einsteins.  We will cover a couple of these guidelines this time and get deeper In Part 2 of this episode.

Our audience is growing through your involvement. Today’s subject came from two listeners. Wha-oo!!  Tell a friend about Business Second Opinion, do a review where you listen. And send ideas. We love being asked questions we have to figure out how to think about Now on Spotify and more new places.

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Carol Sanford and Zac Swartout, co-producers

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