You’re preparing for a meeting. You’ll be contributing a ppt deck and your boss has given you twenty minutes to make your case.
What you need are some tight, pithy, expert comments to back up your position. To find them, you do some research.
Well, yeah. Sure. But just how much research do you do?
This question is becoming increasingly relevant in today’s business world because decisions are being made based on less and less information than ever before.
Less and less information? How is that possible? We have the internet now, don’t we? We can look things up in a second.
Yes, they can. That’s exactly the problem.
Years back I was doing a presentation for a mid-size business in Massachusetts regarding NextStage’s Evolution TechnologyTM. As I wrote in I did a little research…, their concept of “a little research” was doing a web search and skimming the two top entries. My idea of a little research is slightly less than twenty years dedicated study.
The world, however, is moving closer to that “web search, skim the top two…maybe.” Now it seems a little research involves doing a web search and including the top two or three returned entries as links at the bottom of the paper.
In fact, more and more people are limiting their research to what they can find on the web. Forget about going to libraries (re It’s Library Time), that takes too long, you have to get out of your chair and actually go somewhere.
So what happens when all our information comes from the web? Much like a library, you can only report in your research what you can find there. The web is limited in that the history of knowledge isn’t yet available there and what is available tends to be a) recent and b) by junior researchers anxious to get published.
Would you buy a car built by an unproven mechanic anxious to demonstrate that they could build something that would run? Would you buy a meal from a cook who really hadn’t apprenticed in a proven kitchen and wanted to prove to the world that they knew how to handle a skillet?
Good thing most of what’s on the ‘net is free, huh?
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