What if… ? Post-it® notes full of questions
Albert Einstein might have gotten a kick out of attending a monthly meeting of our newest Board committee. After all, he said:
“If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask – for once I knew the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes.”
Our Board Committee on Innovation/Futures may be as passionate about questions as Dr. Einstein, but its questions are a group discipline and the pace tends to be fast. One committee member’s question will ignite a question from another member, and so on. Questions are jotted down as soon as they come to mind. In three monthly meetings so far, the committee has filled up enough Post-it notes to paper a small room.
Question after question after question: “Who defines quality and what is it?”; “Does high quality equate to sustainability?”; Will the need to consume fast media outweigh the need for quality media?”; “What are our metrics? Do we need new ones?”; “What are the new distribution models and their impact?”; “What is the best use of LIVE?”; “Where is the intersection between public service and innovation?”
PBS Hawai‘i Board Chair Jason Fujimoto established this new Board committee to discern opportunities and threats amid the disruptions in a world of rapid change.
Committee Chair Ian Kitajima, who explains his day job as a “tech sherpa” at problem-solving company Oceanit, says his approach is to get out of the rut of common assumptions and sharpen the questions. His committee is mostly composed of non-Board members who hold jobs in strategy and are veterans of training in design thinking. Some staffers participate, too.
Design thinking seeks to understand users, challenge assumptions and redefine problems, in trying to identify alternate strategies and solutions. Let’s see what they come up with in reimagining elements of your PBS Hawai‘i.
Mahalo to members of Ian’s PBS Hawai‘i Board Committee on Innovation/Futures: Stacy Clayton, Brian Dote, Justin Hernandez (California), Aaron Kagawa, Ryan Kanno (Japan), Kevin Kawahara, Ravi Pare and Huy Vo.
We can’t claim Dr. Einstein as a committee member, but his attitude permeates the room: “The important thing is not to stop questioning…. Never lose a holy curiosity.”