BEFORE YOU RESEARCH ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS
As kids, we questioned a lot. We sought answers to a legion of questions and we did that time and again until our appetite for knowledge and learning didn’t suffice. Questioning the obvious we cleared the air of ambiguity which shrouded us. Time passed and we grew up and our inquisitiveness gave way to submissiveness. We accepted more than we questioned. Did we lose something? Are we loosing something?
On a sunny afternoon in cafeteria of Cornell University, Richard Feynman saw a spinning plates and from there came his idea for a quantum electrodynamics study that later won him a Nobel Prize. There were many people in that cafeteria that saw the plate wobbling, but why was Richard the only one to win a Nobel?
Was it not because he questioned himself? Newton demystified the power of gravity only after he questioned the falling apple. Henry Ford was able to lead the automobile industry only because he was able to question his production methodology.
What is this universe, if not a series of unanswered and answered questions?
In their research involving hundreds of innovators and thousands of entrepreneurs, managers and executives from around the world, Gregersen, Christensen and Dyer boiled the formula of innovation down to five key skills:
* Associational thinking
Steve Jobs didn’t wake up one fine day and decided to launch Ipod. He wanted 1000 songs in his pocket and thereafter he questioned himself, how? This is how we got to witness and experience what we today call “IPOD”.
Breakthroughs are often born with someone asking "What if??"
Similarly, a number of today's successful tech startups came into being as an attempt to answer questions like, what if we could somehow crowd source everything a city has to offer? (Foursquare) or, what if we could get any question immediately answered by the world's smartest people? (Quora)....