What is your OSS answer : question ratio?

Experts know a lot…. obviously.
They have lots of answers… obviously.

There are lots of OSS experts. Combined, they know A LOT!!

Powerful indeed, but not sure if that’s what we need right now. I feel like we’re in a bit of an OSS innovation funk. The biggest improvements in OSS are coming from outside OSS – extrinsic improvement.

Where’s the intrinsic improvement coming from? Do we need someone to shake it up (do we need everyone to shake it up?)? Do we need new thinking to identify and create new patterns? To re-organise and revolutionise what the experts already know. Or do we need to ask the massive questions that re-frame the situation for the experts?

So, considering this funky moment in time, is the real expert the one who knows lots of answers… or the person who can catalyse change by asking the best mind-shift questions?

May I ask you – As an OSS expert, are you prouder of your answers…. or your questions?

To tackle that from a different angle – What is your answer : question ratio? Are you such an important expert that your day is so full of giving brilliant answers that you have no time left to ruminate and develop brilliant questions?

If so, can we take some of your answer time back and re-prioritise it please?

In the words of Socrates, “I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think.

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  1. Pride is a pedestal, avoid placing your question/answer ratio on one at all cost. The awareness of the situation will dictate the ratio of questions/answers in the moment. Perspective is created from a centered position of mindfulness through the application of wisdom (knowledge that has been transmuted into wisdom through experience). Speak (ask/answer questions) only when you have something of value to add. Always listen.

    The wise OSS practitioner stays abreast with current/past but has an unbending intent to know more about the future, he creates a unique vision, an almost imaginary story of how it would be and how it will work and he tells everyone that story. The practitioner, through his wisdom and imagination “wills” this future into being by engaging his audience through his/her story.

    Keep on being “A stranger in the strange land”. Sounds counter-intuitive but let me leave you with the story.

    “A man from the Land of the Wise enters the Land of the Fools. One day, he sees people running and screaming in terror from a field and he approaches them to find out what is going on. The people tell him that there is a monster in the field and so he asks them to show him this monster. When they show him a huge watermelon burst out laughing, takes out a knife, cuts off a piece and starts eating it. The people chased him from their land with pitchforks because they were afraid that if he could do that to a watermelon what might he do to them?

    A while later another man enters the Land of the Fools. Perhaps he was a little wiser than the first man but he too was confronted by these people running away from the watermelon monster. They took him to see the monster and he explained that they should be very wary of things they didn’t understand. They accepted him among him among them and in due course he taught them how to cultivate and eat watermelon.”

    Any thoughts on the story?

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