Richard Feynman, the Nobel Prize winning physicist who is a straight-talker from Queens, New York, has spent his whole life trying to see things from a different point of view.
In the interview below (part 1 of 4) Feynman outlines three strategies to think outside the box. They are:
1. Challenge conventional wisdom: Never be happy with an answer or one explanation. Instead, explore it’s meaning and always search for new, more exciting, questions.
2. What’s in a name? Nothing: Never trick yourself into thinking that simply knowing a title or a name of a theory or piece of information is the same thing as understanding a theory or a piece of information. If you do, as Feynman says, “you are going to confuse yourself.”
3. New methods are always needed: New problems are first attacked using old methods and standard scientific theories with little use. New problems, more often than not, require new, exciting, methods.
Feynman can not only teach us about the physical world but he can illustrate the importance of thinking in new directions. It’s important for leaders to find motivation and influence from multiple realms–it will help keep us searching for new methods to conquer new problems.