Are you Asking the Right Questions?

Google have been playing around with their data.

They have found out that they can predict the likelihood of a flu outbreak in a particular geographical area.

They do this by counting how many times people search for “flu” in that location.  It seems that if a friend or relative goes down with a bad cold many of us will start to find out more before we catch it too.  Consequently Google can make a prediction, and a pretty good one.  It isn’t magic, it is fairly obvious once you start to think about it.

This begs the question what could your organisation know if it took the time to stand back and think.

  • Could you know the best place to place your field force so they service customers quickly?
  • Could you know what is irritating your customers?
  • Could you know if your suppliers are overcharging you?
  • Could you know what your competitors are planning to do?

The answer to all of the above is probably yes, if you took the time to think about how you could find out.

A better question is what do you need to know?

If you are clear about the question the answer might well be at your finger tips.

Flu

Image by Anil Jadhav

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Comments

  1. Great post James. I think that asking the right questions is a key to success, in general. Be it process improvement, problem-solving, project management, or performance improvement, one can drive people to right goals by asking the right questions. However, from personal experiences, I have realized that this skill comes with experience and and can be a very important leadership trait.

  2. Stating the problem well is always a good thing to do

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