One Best Answer

The One Best Answer

What is the One Best Answer to lazy questions?

It sometimes seems journalists have only one question, and they ask it in many different forms:

“Can you summarize your book in once sentence?”

“What is the single most important takeaway for readers?”

“What is the first thing people should do when introducing change?”

I try to answer these questions politely. Really.

At the same time I cringe at the apparent laziness.

So, I’m trying to come up with decent replies to deal with this.

Here are a few:

“The summary of Management 3.0 is that there is no one best way to a healthy organization.”

“The most important takeaway is that you should read. Your problem is not unique. Start anywhere.”

“Every change agent should start by drinking a good coffee. Successful change can take a while.”

“For every complex problem, there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong. – H.L. Mencken


What do you think?

What is the One Best Answer to such lazy questions?

p.s. I call them lazy questions because they take no effort on the part of the interviewer. More interesting question could be, “How does Management 3.0 compare with Servant Leadership?” or “Which forms of targets and incentives might be good?” or “Why are you describing practices when you believe we should be concerned with principles?” Alas, this requires thinking. And that’s hard.

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