The Art of Asking Questions
This quarter’s newsletter from Versta Research focuses on the art of asking questions. We suggest that the importance of business questions far exceeds the importance of survey questions or focus group questions. You can’t do the latter without the former, at least not very well, and research that is not specifically designed to answer clearly articulated business questions usually falls flat.
Here are some great quotes we found to keep in mind as guiding principles:
A prudent question is one half of wisdom—Francis Bacon, 17th century philosopher and scientist
If you do not ask the right questions, you do not get the right answers—Edward Hodnett, 20th century poet and writer
The uncreative mind can spot wrong answers, but it takes a very creative mind to spot wrong questions—Sir Antony Jay, contemporary writer
Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers—Anthony Robbins, contemporary self-help author and motivational speaker
As noted in the newsletter, one of the best ways to truly add value to the research that you do is to listen carefully to your internal clients and formulate the right questions. Research is all about answering questions, which is, of course, all about asking questions. Building fancy statistical models is fun and brainy and definitely worth bragging about at your next party, but few people in your organization care much about models. They care about what answers those statistics provide to the fundamental business questions that keep them up at night.
Any questions? Give us a call. Struggling to find your questions? Take a look at our March 2010 Newsletter. We are happy to help you find them.
—Joe Hopper, Ph.D.