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Welcome to the WISE newsletter, a program of
The Falcone Center for Entrepreneurship at Syracuse University

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

A question or answer culture

Does your business ask and ponder questions or does it seek quick answers? Jeffrey Phillips writes:
Most businesses I am aware of don‚’t have a Question Culture -- they have an Answer Culture. That's because we are taught very early on that we should have the answer to the problems right at hand. Getting to an answer quickly is often rewarded in business, and having a plausible answer makes it appear we are "in the know". The problem with the Answer Culture is that ideas get the "one and done" treatment. An idea gets proposed and someone already has the answer -- We've done that before or It won't work here or some other answer. Rather than ask questions and expand the discussion, we seek to quickly provide an answer and move on.
He goes on to state that the Answer Culture gets things done quickly, but misses opportunities to explore new ideas and perhaps to be innovative. Entrepreneurs, especially, need to have a Question Culture that allow them to seek ideas that will allow them to succeed.

So ask yourself this...Is your company culture one that seeks the quick answers or enjoying exploring the questions?

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