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jerryking : inquisitiveness   9

The Power of ‘Why?’ and ‘What If?’ - The New York Times
JULY 2, 2016 | New York Times | By WARREN BERGER.

business leaders want the people working around them to be more curious, more cognizant of what they don’t know, and more inquisitive — about everything, including “Why am I doing my job the way I do it?” and “How might our company find new opportunities?”....Companies in many industries today must contend with rapid change and rising uncertainty. In such conditions, even a well-established company cannot rest on its expertise; there is pressure to keep learning what’s new and anticipating what’s next. It’s hard to do any of that without asking questions.

Steve Quatrano, a member of the Right Question Institute, a nonprofit research group, explains that the act of formulating questions enables us “to organize our thinking around what we don’t know.” This makes questioning a good skill to hone in dynamic times.....So how can companies encourage people to ask more questions? There are simple ways to train people to become more comfortable and proficient at it. For example, question formulation exercises can be used as a substitute for conventional brainstorming sessions. The idea is to put a problem or challenge in front of a group of people and instead of asking for ideas, instruct participants to generate as many relevant questions as they can.......Getting employees to ask more questions is the easy part; getting management to respond well to those questions can be harder.......think of “what if” and “how might we” questions about the company’s goals and plans........Leaders can also encourage companywide questioning by being more curious and inquisitive themselves.
5_W’s  asking_the_right_questions  questions  curiosity  humility  pretense_of_knowledge  unknowns  leadership  innovation  idea_generation  ideas  information_gaps  cost_of_inaction  expertise  anticipating  brainstorming  dynamic  change  uncertainty  rapid_change  inquisitiveness  Dr.Alexander's_Question  incisiveness  leaders  companywide 
july 2016 by jerryking
A rigorous Canadian innovation policy needs to be able to evolve and pivot - The Globe and Mail
BILAL KHAN
Contributed to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Apr. 15, 2016

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But a big part of the problem is our knee-jerk reaction to expect governments to provide the solutions. Need corporate R&D? Ask Ottawa for more tax credits. Lacking venture capital? Insist tax dollars are put into a fund. Want more high tech? Demand provincial governments to spend more on university research.

Good public policies can certainly nudge us in the right direction, but it’s lazy to sit back and wait for government to solve the problem. The truth is that tax credits and research subsidies do not drive innovation. Curiosity drives innovation.

Maybe we’re asking the wrong question. Instead of “what policy can drive innovation?”, we need to ask “how can we become a society of inquisitive individuals?” That’s a more difficult question. It is too simplistic to call for more creativity in the classrooms, but surely strong literacy skills at an early age form the bedrock of curiosity and innovative thinking in adulthood. Children who are encouraged to read, to question, to wonder and to imagine will carry those abilities with them into adulthood.

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innovation  innovation_policies  public_policy  agility  risk-taking  Todd_Hirsch  curiosity  organizational_culture  inquisitiveness  questions  bottom-up  hard_questions  asking_the_right_questions  tax_codes 
april 2016 by jerryking
China will keep spying. Canada must respond with skill, not rhetoric - The Globe and Mail
DAVID MULRONEY
Contributed to The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Jul. 31 2014

China uses its long reach for objectives other than espionage. It feels free to confront any Canadian who shows undue interest in “sensitive” topics. Members of Parliaments, mayors, academics and community leaders have been bullied for displaying interest in the Dalai Lama, conditions in China’s restive Xinjiang region, or the plight of Falun Gong practitioners.

This is unacceptable, but here’s the hard part: we can expect more of the same. A rising but insecure China will not shrink from clandestine and downright unfriendly tactics to advance its interests.

We need to be clear-eyed in facing up to this. But we also need to recognize that our future prosperity, security and well-being depend on maintaining our own intelligently self-interested relationship with China.

So let’s start by banishing the rhetoric. China is not our best friend, any more than it is the sum of all fears. We do need to acknowledge and address the real threat China poses to our security.

Government needs to lead the way, but Canadian companies also need to step up their game. Enhanced security consciousness starts at the top. There are all too many anecdotes about security minded employees being over-ruled by senior executives who are worried about offending inquisitive Chinese visitors. That exquisite sensitivity is never reciprocated when it is the turn of the Chinese to host foreign guests....The one thing that we should avoid doing is closing doors to co-operation. Unfortunately, that’s already happening, and companies on both sides of the Pacific are paying a price. The Chinese media are portraying the U.S. technology sector as a major security threat. This makes it fair game for overly zealous regulators, and plays into the longstanding Chinese inclination to make life tougher for foreign firms. This week, investigators descended on Microsoft offices in China. Meanwhile the China operations of U.S.-based chip maker Qualcomm are also under review. Firms like Apple and Google have felt a similar chill.

Here in North America, China’s telecom giant Huawei is our bête noir, accused of being a proxy for the Chinese security apparatus. These allegations find a ready audience among a Canadian public that, as recent polling has shown, is increasingly wary of China.

It’s hard to argue against caution when it comes to China. But we’re jumping from naive acceptance to complete risk avoidance. There is an intermediate step – risk mitigation. Although its approach is not without controversy, the U.K. has opted for a partnership with Huawei that sees the Chinese company funding an inspection process in Britain designed to reduce security risks.

Complete risk avoidance, or shutting our door to China, comes at a cost that falls on consumers, on smaller companies seeking access to global markets, and on communities seeking investment....China is at the heart of changes that expose us to new levels of threat and uncertainty. We need to respond with skill, purpose and confidence. The only thing more dangerous than engaging China is not engaging it.
anecdotal  Canada  Canada-China_relations  cyberespionage  China  David_Mulroney  espionage  frenemies  Huawei  influence  influence_peddling  intimidation  inquisitiveness  purpose  risk-aversion  risk-avoidance  risk-management  risk-mitigation  security_consciousness  security_&_intelligence  self-confidence  threats  uncertainty 
july 2014 by jerryking
When it comes to innovation, Canada needs more inquisitive minds
Sept. 11 2013 | The Globe and Mail | by TODD HIRSCH.

There are solutions to Canada’s innovation deficit. The Conference Board of Canada, which prepared the Canadian analysis for the WEF report, makes several smart suggestions. Encouraging more spending on R&D, making better use of advanced technology, and increasing the research linkages between universities and industry all make sense.

But a big part of the problem is our knee-jerk reaction to expect governments to provide the solutions. Need corporate R&D? Ask Ottawa for more tax credits. Lacking venture capital? Insist tax dollars are put into a fund. Want more high tech? Demand provincial governments to spend more on university research.

Good public policies can certainly nudge us in the right direction, but it’s lazy to sit back and wait for government to solve the problem. The truth is that tax credits and research subsidies do not drive innovation. Curiosity drives innovation.

Maybe we’re asking the wrong question. Instead of “what policy can drive innovation?”, we need to ask “how can we become a society of inquisitive individuals?” That’s a more difficult question. It is too simplistic to call for more creativity in the classrooms, but surely strong literacy skills at an early age form the bedrock of curiosity and innovative thinking in adulthood. Children who are encouraged to read, to question, to wonder and to imagine will carry those abilities with them into adulthood.
bottom-up  Todd_Hirsch  economists  innovation  competitiveness_of_nations  Canada  Canadian  WEF  rankings  curiosity  counterintuitive  public_policy  inquisitiveness  literacy  reframing  problem_framing  children  parenting  fascination  asking_the_right_questions  questions 
september 2013 by jerryking
Stop Looking for Ideas, Look for Problems to Grow Your Business - India Chief Mentor - WSJ
April 19, 2010, | WSJ | By Gautam Gandhi. Stop looking for
good ideas. That’s right, you read this correctly. Please don’t speak of good ideas ever again. Instead tell me about good problems. They'll most likely bring a business opportunity, Where are the problems?

If you look around there are problems everywhere. Question things you
take for granted and think to yourself: Is there a better way? When you
have your next business meeting, whether it is with a client or
customer, ask them what their biggest problems are. You will be
surprised by what people tell you. Hopefully, you will start to notice
patterns and will soon identify a problem to solve. Better still, if it
is a problem that affects you directly.

When you think of the problem that you are going to solve, ensure that:

You are tackling it for a sizable market
People are willing to pay for your solution
You assess your rivals

The last one is important. Never think: “I don’t have any competition.”
growth  problem_solving  pattern_recognition  idea_generation  problems  challenges  worthiness  messiness  uncharted_problems  large_markets  competition  questions  ideas  assumptions  criteria  India  pain_points  discernment  curiosity  dissatisfaction  opportunities  inquisitiveness  Michael_McDerment  worthwhile_problems 
july 2011 by jerryking
The Montessori Mafia - Ideas Market - WSJ
April 5, 2011 | WSJ | By Peter Sims (the author of Little
Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries). We can
change the way we’ve been trained to think. That begins in small,
achievable ways, with increased experimentation and inquisitiveness.
Those who work with Mr. Bezos, for example, find his ability to ask “why
not?” or “what if?” as much as “why?” to be one of his most
advantageous qualities. Questions are the new answers.
education  creativity  creative_thinking  learning  parenting  experimentation  innovation  schools  teaching  Jeff_Bezos  Amazon  google  books  Montessori  questions  thinking  breakthroughs  inquisitiveness  curiosity 
april 2011 by jerryking
Stanford's Entrepreneurship Corner: Jack Dorsey, Square - The Power of Curiosity and Inspiration
Lecture by Jack Dorsey, creator of twitter and square, as part
of Stanford U.'s Entrepreneurship corner.
"Instrument" your company from Day 1. The 1st thing he did in square
(and not in twitter) is write an admin control panel for their servers.
Be a story teller. Inspire your team & your customers with a
story, your idea.
In the company, act as the editor, composing the stories.
The team you build is not permanent, different players will need to
enter & exit according to their profiles, the current story &
the "required edition".
Internal comms.: Everyone in the company will have the same
priorities.
External comms: You communicate with the product, your product is
"your story for your customers".
$ in the bank: The company needs it, firstly from investors and
secondly, and more critical, from revenue.
Limit the # of details. Those that stay need to be perfect.
Finally,"expect the unexpected and, whenever possible, be the
unexpected".
Stanford  entrepreneurship  Jack_Dorsey  start_ups  turning_your_team  Twitter  lessons_learned  entrepreneur  Square  control_systems  storytelling  dashboards  unexpected  instrumentation_monitoring  curiosity  inquisitiveness 
february 2011 by jerryking
Science Journal - WSJ.com
OCTOBER 20, 2006 | Wall Street Journal | by SHARON BEGLEY.
Critical thinking means being able to evaluate evidence, to tell fact
from opinion, to see holes in an argument, to tell whether cause and
effect has been established and to spot illogic.....critical-thinking
skills are different from critical-thinking dispositions, or a
willingness to deploy those skills."

A tendency to employ critical thinking, according to studies going back a
decade, goes along with certain personality traits, not necessarily
with intelligence. Being curious, open-minded, open to new experiences
and conscientious indicates a disposition to employ critical thinking,
says Prof. Bensley. So does being less dogmatic and less authoritarian,
and having a preference for empirical and rational data over intuition
and emotion when weighing information and reaching conclusions.
critical_thinking  Sharon_Begley  evidence  inquisitiveness  argumentation  open_mind  curiosity  intuition  emotions  rationalism  assessments_&_evaluations 
may 2009 by jerryking
globeandmail.com - Is the answer to business success a never-ending question?
Feb. 25, 2008 G&M column by Harvey Schachter. Take an organized approach to developing thought-provoking questions.

Identifying

The source for questions already exist around us, in books, white papers, journals, brochures, competitive intelligence, market research and technical documents. Consider the various outside experts, industry leaders, competitors, suppliers, customers, and even family members who already ask questions about your workplace. "With a little imagination, the sources for questions are nearly endless," she says.

Collecting

Send an e-mail to 30 people asking "what questions should be asked before taking on a new project?" A helpful question to start that process is: "What are all the questions that people might answer in order to address the company's goals, challenges or problems?" Collect questions in advance of decision-making meetings to help plan each session better and make it more effective.

Organizing

Look for patterns that will indicate the categories that the questions can be stored in, for appropriate retrieval when needed. Sometimes the topic might have an industry standard categorization already.

Refining

Although it's common to begin brainstorming with "there's no such thing as a bad question," not all questions are good ones. So keep refining your questions to make sure they are open-ended, not easy to answer, and provocative.

Follow Kipling

Rudyard Kipling : What and Why and When and How and Where and Who." A good QuestionBank contains a mix of those question types. Two of the most provocative questions you can ask are: "What or how might people change or improve ____ to ____?" and "What new or different ideas might change or improve _____?"

Ownership

Make sure somebody is accountable for each QuestionBank, ensuring periodic improvements and maintenance. That person should be in a position of responsibility in the organization.
Harvey_Schachter  career  creativity  innovation  questions  Rudyard_Kipling  pattern_recognition  open-ended  insights  Dr.Alexander's_Question  incisiveness  inquisitiveness  5_W’s  prospecting 
january 2009 by jerryking

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