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.