I came upon this story recently.
A seriously important message about logic and the meaning of life. It is a bit long and a little complicated but it reaches an important conclusion.
“Don’t you see? This question is nonsense! If you spend your whole life asking the wrong questions, your answers will lead you nowhere.”
It is interesting how often a 2×2 grid will help us understand the nature of things.
Questions may be right or wrong. As dealt with in the story, and as concluded, asking wrong questions can be a costly futility.
At the same time, our answers may be right or wrong. Wrong answers also are deleterious, but not the way you think.
In a general case, we can see four possibilities
People tend to think that bad results tend to flow only from bad answers. Not always. Sometimes they just make the question seem to drift. It is a productive exercise to determine if you are asking the right questions. As you can see, wrong question/wrong answer and right question/wrong answer have indeterminate outcomes. You cannot be sure you are on the path to success.
This parallels how strategy and tactics interact and I suppose in some ways they are the same thing. In that analysis we see that tactics (answers) prove the strategy (questions) Good tactics prove the strategy to be either good or bad, while weak tactics prove nothing.
You would find this earlier blog article useful. Strategies and tactics interact.
People almost always need external help with the good question assignment because those, and sometimes the answers, are outside their experience. Seek a guide.
Don Shaughnessy is a retired partner in an international public accounting firm and is now with The Protectors Group, a large personal insurance, employee benefits and investment agency in Peterborough Ontario.