What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more
Close

The Importance of Asking Good, Dumb Questions

September 18, 2012, 12:00 AM
Colbert

When Stephen Colbert introduces a guest on his show, he runs a victory lap around the set, soaking up the raucous applause from the audience as his guest remains stoically seated. When the interview starts, Colbert fires questions at his guest only to abruptly cut the person off. In short, the interview is all about him. This satirical interviewing style wouldn't be so funny if it didn't hit so close to home: the spectacle of the egotistical TV host is thoroughly ingrained in our culture. 

And yet, the best way to conduct interviews -- or any kind of research, for that matter -- is to not try to make yourself look smart. Rather, asking a "good dumb question" is an approach that will often yield the best results. 

This is the advice of "CEO whisperer" Adam Bryant, who writes the Corner Office column for The New York Times and is the author of the book, The Corner Office

Watch the video here:

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

More from the Big Idea for Tuesday, September 18 2012

Core Skill: Capturing Knowledge

The best way to conduct interviews -- or any kind of research, for that matter -- is to check you ego and not try to make yourself look smart. Rather, asking a "good dumb question" is an approach ... Read More…

 

The Importance of Asking Go...

Newsletter: Share: