Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Asking the right question

As an auditor, I know that it’s all about asking the right question. Asking wrong questions will usually give you valid though irrelevant answers. The same principle applies to the questions that you’re asking yourself. A breakthrough during introspection can only arrive when you’re asking yourself the right question(s). The Why question isn’t always the appropriate question.

Most questions start with a W: what, when, where, (which), (with), who, why – a.k.a. the 5 W’s. Then there is also How. These questions follow the DIKW model (my 2021 blog, Wiki) of Data (how, which, with), Information (who, what), Knowledge (when, where) and Wisdom (why).

These questions can also be categorized in: (1) spacetime dimension (when, where), (2) object (what) and subject (who), (3) event data (how, which, with), and (4) intentions / motive (why).

Example (click diagram to enlarge). Criminal investigations focus on 3 interconnected questions, once the who (identity) and what (eg, murder) have been established, being: (i) motive (why), (ii) means (eg, how, with); and (iii) opportunity (when, where). Means and opportunity may still leave many suspects; motive should reduce that suspect pool to only one. 

I’ve written seven blogs on the subject Everything follows Why (my blogs). However, motive and/or intentions (ie, the Why question) are often hidden (eg, in our subconscious). Hence, you may need to ask different questions first, before you can arrive at the Why question. This is a matter of inductive versus deductive analysis

Asking the Who question is also about determining accountability & responsibility (my blogs). In general, it’s too easy for me to shift blame (my blogs) and guilt (my blogs) to others. 

How about the other questions? The spacetime questions (when, where) are seldom relevant to me, just like the event data stuff (eg, which, with, how). 

One of the hardest questions in my life was, and sometimes still is: What‘s going wrong (eg, in my life)? Or alternatively: What’s going on?

What’s Going On (1971) by Marvin Gaye (1939-1984)
artist, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2, Wiki-3

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless stated otherwise.


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