First Friday Book Synopsis

"…like CliffNotes on steroids…"

Why questions are the new answers

Peter Sims

While reading Peter Sims’s new book, Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries, I came upon this paragraph:

“One of the best ways to identify creative insights and develop ideas is to throw out a theory and experience things first-hand. After all, fresh problems, ideas, needs and desires aren’t obvious; they’re hidden beneath the surface. We can’t even know what questions to ask until we reach beyond what is already known through a true process of discovery: carefully exploring, observing, and listening to uncover what is hidden from the naked eye from the bottom up. In doing so, we must go deep, we must go wide, and we must be focused.”

In the book, Sims discusses several creative thinkers who include Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, PIXAR’s Ed Catmull and John Lasseter, the architect Frank Gehry, and the comedian Chris Rock.  All of them demonstrate

• An insatiable curiosity
• A compulsion to identify and then ask the right questions
• What Roger Martin characterizes as “integrative thinking”
• “Immersion in unfamiliar terrain”
• Constant experimentation
• Delight in “play”

• A compulsion to define with exquisite precision
• Flexibility when there is a need for reorientation
• Resilience during a major and unexpected crisis

Please click here to check out Little Bets, published by Free Press (2011).

Friday, April 8, 2011 - Posted by | Bob's blog entries | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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