Thursday, September 16, 2004

Why, oh why?

Today was a fun day at work. Journalists (and authors, apparently) have six “must ask” questions: what, when, who, where, how and why. My favorite has always been “why”. But today, I decided to replace the why with what. Example: I didn’t focus on the question “Why did you do this project?” but rather on “What did you learn from this project?”.

I get different answers, I know, and that’s the point. I figured I wanted to favor a future thinking. One easily focuses on the past and the reasons for something, and forgets about the lessons learned. The “Where do you go from here?” part is often forgotten. And it worked quite well. The persons I interviewed really had to reflect on how to answer as being asked “what can you do to carry this plan into effect” is something completely different from a “why”-question. It demands a plan, an analysis, a look into the future, whereas the “why” is easily instantly answered with memories and experience of something that has already passed.

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