Eric Opp writes:
> I could not resist responding to a post with such a subject!
> I have an almost three year old son, Ramsey, who rules my home. I have
> come to learn the joy and the pain of "Why?" from him. One of our
> conversations might go like this:
> R: Why did Mr. Norman take back the trash?
> E: Because he is a nice neighbor.
> R: Why is he a nice neighbor?
Interesting... My wife and I sometimes play this game (we are both still
children at heart). We call it `The Why Monster' - for understandable
A few weeks ago, I tried something similar with the management
team of a client here in the UK, an executive search firm.
THey had a three a three word business strategy: `Completion' (ie,
the succesful completion of a search assignment), `Growth',
`Global' (!). In a session with them, I asked them to work in
pairs and to choose one word from the strategy. For instance, say
one pair chose `Growth'. One of the pair then asked the other
`What's important to you about that (eg, Growth)?'
to which the other responded. And then again the question:
`And what's important to you about _that_?'.
and so on until the one felt it wasn't possible to go any deeper.
Then switch roles.
In this form, I came across the exercise in a presentation by
Tony Page at last year's AMED conference here in the UK.
There, the topics were generic: life, work, relationships - you
What was particularly interesting for me in doing the
exercise was how quickly - in just a few minutes - it was
possible to `drill down' to the `cool' space of dialogue.
We discovered, for example, that what was important to me
about, say, `relationships', was also important to you. We
discovered that the particular meaning of `work' and the way it
related to other contexts of my life was different from its
meaning for you - as well as in what specific ways it was
What fascinated me about the exercise was its simplicity, and
how it might be used to help build `high-performance teams' really,
_really_ fast. In the client situation, it seemed to work -
so thank you Eric for prompting this reply.
All the best,
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