Divide and conquer

I’ve been doing research for business clients for forty years.  That’s a lot of research.  (It also means I’ve made just about every mistake possible—at least once!)  When I started, each project looked very different-the details seemed to loom large.  I struggled with how to develop a unique approach for each one.

Several hundreds of projects later, my perspective had evolved.  The similarities among projects, not their differences, became most prominent.  I found that common themes ran among many of the projects, whatever their scope, methodology, or specific client benefit.  I became fascinated by the possibility that a few simple building blocks, moved around in different ways to fit the particular situation, could become the foundation of a whole way of looking at-and improving-the process of intellectual work.

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    COMPETING IN THE KNOWLEDGE ECONOMY is written by Timothy Powell, an independent researcher and consultant in knowledge strategy. Tim is president of The Knowledge Agency® (TKA) and serves on the faculty of Columbia University's Information and Knowledge Strategy (IKNS) graduate program.

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