Conversation Agent - Valeria Maltoni - Questions and Innovation

« Corporate Blogs | Main | Marketing is to Social Media... »


Yes - too many questions are really just an excuse for an answer.

There lies the greatest irony and a further clue to to Prozac nature of management fads - make them think they are thinking - its a great way of keeping control and making the numbers.

It's interesting, this thinking turns Fast Company goes from revolutionary to an ultra conservative - not by design but by cause and effect. I'm not saying it is just that -- you can think it that way and that opens up opportunities.

By the way, I think about measurement a lot. As a concept, it rates along time and the self as critically under examined.

I see them as sentinels defending current ways of life.

But as a society and market we may need to battle these concepts if we are to evolve "healthier" ways of life.

Thanks for the chat.

I'm with your, Peter. Those were deemed provocative in the manifesto! Sometimes the question is asked in such a way to distract everyone from the better question, that which would require too big a change, too large an effort.

Speaking differently is not seen too much in corporate America these days. Everything is processed and benchmarked. And yes, our first job is to make those numbers.

There is a clue to societies contempt for questions - Have you ever noticed that people apologise when they think aloud.

I wonder what we are doing the rest of the time.

On questions

I'm promoting the idea that the precursor to the fall of civilization is the point when the available number of answers exceeds the number of questions asked.

Its one of the problems of organising society around capital. There is a tendency to produce only that which people will buy. Have you ever bought a question that didn't come with an answer.

Take "Two of the most provocative questions might be:

“What or how might people change or improve ___________ to _________ ?”


“What new or different ideas might change or improve _____________ ?”

I don't find these provocative. More an excuse for an answer or 50. It's an example of what I call Google minded (Google is a way of thinking - a technological inspired approach to the understanding of knowledge (But this is for another time)

Provocative is when you ask a question that takes longer to understand than to answer.

As Richard Rorty pointed out the chief agent of cultural change is to speak differently rather than to argue well. Of course, Richard didn't have to make his quarterly numbers.

Spk soon.


The comments to this entry are closed.

Conversation Agent

  • Since 2006, Conversation Agent focuses on business, technology, digital culture, and human behavior. At Conversation Agent LLC, I help organizations and brands that want to build better experiences tell a new story.


As seen on

Advisory Boards

Marketing that makes business sense


Book Reviews

  • Conversation Agent participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. It provides a means for Conversation Agent to earn commissions by linking to Amazon.

Comment Policy and Social Guidelines

  • This is my blog and not a public space. Critical discourse is welcomed. However, inappropriate comments will be deleted. See my social guidelines for reference.


  • The opinions blogged herein represent only those of Valeria Maltoni and do not reflect those of her employer, persons or companies mentioned herein, or anyone else.