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Questions, questions…

Sogeti Labs
September 19, 2013

TheBookOfAnswersI know we’re in an industry where everybody knows it all. I’ve even at a time contemplated writing ‘the book of answers’ for IT, with all the obvious answers that could apply in any organization: “Make it useable”, “Integrate”, “Go for the quick win”, “Think about the cloud” etc. So that in times of desperation, a CIO or project-manager could pick up the book and flip to a random page to receive some inspiration as to what to do next or how to improve how things are going. It would be fun way to summarize all the things that everybody deep down knows about our industry. On the other hand, perhaps it’s not that we need more answers but that we need better questions. What is really happening? Why do we do what we do? How did we decide on something? Why do people do what they do? Why do customers love or leave us? What is going to happen next? More questions generally leads to even more questions and occasionally to better insights and new ideas. But then I read this column, saying that you should NOT ask yourself too many questions, because it could stop innovation. Everybody who has ever had a ‘good idea’ and told a friend who replied ‘but what about…’, knows how that works. So what is it? I think it’s of course both: you need to keep asking questions about ‘what would I like to know’ and ‘what is going on’ yet when you recognize a good idea, run with it. Don’t try to use questions to kill forward motion: questions should trigger new ideas, create new possibilities, open the horizon. What can you do this week to innovate your company? Oh, and if anyone wants to help revive the idea write the book of IT answers, let me know, it could be fun.

About the author

SogetiLabs gathers distinguished technology leaders from around the Sogeti world. It is an initiative explaining not how IT works, but what IT means for business.


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