Top five questions

Written by Vera Struck

At days end, trying to escape one of those particularly difficult days, sometimes my daughter coerces me to join her for a glass of cabernet at the local bistro. This game generally gets us chortling and laughing, a healthy distraction from my serial entrepreneurship struggles with several start-ups. If you don’t know this one; basically you start by asking the question, “What are your top five…” and your fill in the blank. Your pals have to list theirs and you add yours in at the end.

In most cases the questions are fairly mundane and innocuous. Like top five people you would like to be on a desert island with, top five people you want at your ultimate dinner party, top five politicians you wish would retire, you get the drift. This game can be quite revealing and even more fun if a few casual interlopers join in. However, I’ve noticed a change in these questions in recent years. Perhaps because we’ve played too often or perhaps because of our digital addictions with twitter, facebook, etc. they have become less of a pleasant distraction and more like work.

Benchmarking my cognitive skills, a colleague asks me, “So what are your top five questions you would ask your terrablu team members to use when they try to leverage their new sustainability best practices with their workplace, community or vendors?” Yes, this is work.

My mouth dropped open. I was not ready for all that. It took me a few seconds and another delicious gulp of wine to say, “Whatever questions engage them to start the conversation about the QBL, the quadruple bottom line. How they and their family, community and workplace impact others culturally, socially, environmentally and economically.” (Just add culture to the three pillars of sustainability)

Postscript: Here’s what I came up with Are you Terrablu?

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