Gestalt

Gestalt. It’s all we really have. If you think you can line up the work, issue commands and drive researchers into finding innovative products, then you’re delusional. Objective evidence is only so objective. Much more important for innovative work are the subjective and political dimensions of thinking: tiers of evidence+. We put in protections against self-interest, bias, the Three C’s+, insecurities of the highly educated+, etc. and we rely on our professionals. What do they think? What do they feel? Set aside the observational data for a moment. It’s rarely detached from your deeply held beliefs anyway. I pay you well so you tell me what you think, not to tell me what you think I want to hear. Of course, we refer here to stage two researchers+. They’ve already demonstrated a mastery of the subject area and of themselves.

Here we refer to models of the scientific world, and to models in the managerial world. What we seek is a way to gain access for gestalt in our research and in the way we manage our research. John Tukey, with his Exploratory Data Analysis gave researchers an intermediate step. He was the father of many of data visualization techniques that are now widespread – he freed observational data from its statistical tyrants. Paul Feyerabend went further, exhorting seasoned researchers to ignore observational data that flies in the face of new and exciting research directions. World Class R&D takes these heretics and gains them a seat at the table with those who provide the funding – those who are still far behind in their thinking about the power and necessity of gestalt in innovative R&D pursuits.

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