My initial insight for what would become RQ™ (short for research quotient) came from an earlier career in defense electronics at Hughes Aircraft Company. Until it was acquired by General Motors (GM) in 1985, Hughes had been a marvelous company of talented scientists and engineers working on exciting projects. To give you a sense of how special the company was, I once asked my customer how his agency chose when to award contracts to Hughes versus one of our competitors. He said, “I go to Hughes when I don’t know what I want. Once you help me discover that, I go to the other guys because they can build it more cheaply.”

At Hughes, we didn’t view our job as designing missiles; we viewed our job as pushing the knowledge frontier. So I became ...

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