Questions are the new answers.
—Joey Reiman, on Investigation
Fictional detective Sherlock Holmes was famous for his extra-keen powers of observation, which he used to solve perplexing mysteries. You are Sherlock Holmes in the first step of the Four I’s Ideation Process; in other words, you’re the detective. Your job is to collect as much data as possible from your company or brand. That means going back to your beginnings and gathering “clues” from those who hold the cherished stories of your organization.
Investigation also requires that you observe your company’s culture. You can do this by asking lots of questions of all your associates, from the top floor to the factory floor. Our typical process at BrightHouse is to interview 30 people in a company over 1-2 weeks to get a good idea of what the enterprise stands for and where it wants to go.
To find out what role your organization plays in the world, you need to discover what makes it unique and special. Once the detective work is done, we can start to hypothesize on themes that will eventually lead the team to a Master Idea and bring your company into its future.
Think about what it’s like when you first start dating someone. You may have met online and read his or her profile, or you may have a friend who set you up. You know the basic information about your date: name, occupation, likes, and dislikes. But you want to know what this person is really like when you meet him or her, not the “best of me” version ...