Idea 18: Asking the right questions
I keep six honest serving-men
They taught me all I knew;
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.
Rudyard Kipling, author of The Jungle Book and the Just So Stories
Kipling’s famous ‘serving-men’ are not only good teachers, they can also be great tools for achieving clarity.
Think of them as a sculptor’s chisels. You can use them to chip away at a block of information until the shape inside it – the inner reality – becomes clear and visible. It is only by asking the right question, and only sometimes by repeating it three times, that you get at the truth.
Case study: Churchill and R.V. Jones
During his period as Prime Minister during the Second World War, Sir Winston’s favourite ‘boffin’ ...