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The Key to Einstein’s Genius

The Key to Einstein’s Genius

The key to Einstein’s genius is to learn how to stay with a question longer. Albert Einstein famously remarked,

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 know the proper question I could solve the problem in less than five minutes.

Einstein also stated,

It’s not that I’m so smart but I stay with the questions much longer.

To stay with our questions longer, DSRP Thinkquiry Questions is a good way.

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What is DSRP Thinkquiry?

DRSP Thinkquiry is developed by Derek and Laura Cabrera – professors at Cornell University. It is a systems thinking approach to structure information and questions in a systematic way.[1] This approach applies simple rules underlying systems thinking. These simple rules are Distinctions – Systems – Relationships – Perspectives (DSRP).

DSRP ThinkQuiry Questions are the building blocks of cognition and are required to deconstruct a problem or issue. You can learn more about this approach and even use it online at www.thinkquiry.us. Furthermore, I encourage you to read more about Derek and Laura Cabrera’s work and two of their outstanding books – Systems Thinking Made Simple and Thinking at Every Desk.

Beyond the Socratic Method

    In Thinking at Every Desk, the Cabrera’s inform us that we should think of DSRP as guiding questions and as a new form of Socratic questioning for the 21st century. They found that the Socratic method of questioning leads students to a black and white view of the world, where DSRP questions lead students to see the infinite shades of gray that actually exist in the world.

    With DSRP Thinkquiry the Cabrera’s sought to provide us with a new way to ask different questions. Here is what they had to say. [2]

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    “We wanted to get people asking different kinds of questions. Questions that lead to new insights and answers but also more questions. Structural questions that can be mixed and matched to form even more complex questions that get at the essence of the wicked problems and complex systems around us.”

    Let’s now dive into DSRP Thinkquiry using a personal example of mine. I write extensively on the foster care system and have published numerous articles and a few books. Books such as Succeeding as a Foster Child a Workbook. I recently published an article on the Different Perspectives of the Foster Care System where I surveyed 243 individuals in order to identify their perspectives of the foster care system using DSRP as a framework and a guide to build better questions for the study.

    Additionally, I used the newest tool created by the Cabrera’s to finish the study – a powerful and free application located at https://kingfisher.link. It is essentially a virtual systems thinking whiteboard.

    Building Better Questions

    Starting with distinctions, let’s see how I was able to ask better questions using the foster care example.

    Distinctions

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      Guiding Questions:

      1. What is Foster Care?
      2. What is-not Foster Care?
      3. How would you distinguish between Foster Care and a similar thing – such as Adoption?
      4. Can you compare and contrast Foster Care and Adoption?

      Systems

        Guiding Questions:

        1. What are the parts of Foster Care?
        2. What is Foster Care a part of?
        3. Can you name some of the parts of the parts of Foster Care?
        4. What are the parts of the relationship between Foster Care and Adoption?
        5. What are the parts of Foster Care when looked at from the viewpoint of a Foster Parent?

        Relationships

          Guiding Questions:

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          1. What ideas are related to Foster Care and what ideas are related by Foster Care?
          2. What idea relates Foster Care and Adoption?
          3. How are the parts of Foster Care related?
          4. How are the parts of Foster Care related to the parts of Adoption?
          5. What are the relationships among Foster Care and Adoption and other things?

          Perspectives

            Here I will use perspectives uncovered during my survey discussed earlier.

            Guiding Questions:

            1. What are the parts of the viewpoint Foster Care when looking at challenges in foster care from multiple perspectives.
            2. How are Foster Care and Adoption related when looking at them from a new perspective – from the perspective of a Foster Child.
            3. Can you think of Foster Care from multiple perspectives?
            4. What are the parts of Foster Care when looked at from multiple viewpoints?

              The Cabrera’s have provided us an improved way to ask better questions. They have provided us, not only a way to stay with a question longer, but also a better way to build questions. I have personally found that by simply using DSRP Thinkquiry Questions, I am able to uncover new ideas that were not previously held in my mind. In fact, I call their systems thinking approach my “aha” or epiphany generator!

              To me, it’s as if the questions are Lego blocks in a random pile. DSRP Thinkquiry Questions are a way to see each block as a different question, where our job is to simply connect them.

              Reference

              More by this author

              Dr. Jamie Schwandt

              Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt & Red Team Critical Thinker

              How to Upgrade Your Critical Thinking Skills and Make Smart Choices How to Reprogram Your Brain Like a Computer And Hack Your Habits 5 Proven Memorization Techniques to Make the Most of Your Memory 10 Hacks to Increase Your Brain IQ, Focus and Creativity 9 Game Changing Tips on How to Write Goals (and Reach Them!)

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              Last Updated on June 13, 2019

              15 Best Entrepreneurs Books to Start Reading Now to Be Successful

              15 Best Entrepreneurs Books to Start Reading Now to Be Successful

              Knowledge is power, and you’re going to need a lot of it if you’re going to be able to steer your business to success.

              Without further ado, let’s take a look at the 15 best entrepreneurs books to get inspirations about success and grow your business.

              1. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

                This book has been dubbed the Granddaddy of All Motivational Literature, and it was actually the first book that gave a prescription of what it takes to be a winner.

                Napoleon Hill draws from the stories of millionaires like Henry Ford, Andrew Carnegie, and Thomas Edison to illustrate the principles he put forth.

                Get the book here!

                2. The Lean Startup by Eric Reis

                  A lot of startups end up failing, but many of these failures are actually avoidable. The Lean Startup provides a different approach that is now being adopted all over the world and changing the way that companies are developed and products are being launched.

                  In The Lean Startup, Eric Reis describes what is required for a company to penetrate the fog of uncertainty in order to discover a path to a sustainable and successful business.

                  Get the book here!

                  3. The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber

                    In a revised edition of the 150,000-copy bestseller, The E-Myth, Michael Gerber refutes some of the myths that surround starting your own business and shows just how commonplace assumptions can end up getting in the way of being able to run a successful business.

                    Gerber succeeds in walking the reader through the steps that occur in the life of a business, from infancy, through the pains of growing as an adolescent, to the perspective of the mature entrepreneur.

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                    Get the book here!

                    4. Rework by Jason Fried

                      Most of the business books that you get today will give you the same advice: draft a business plan, study the competition, look for investors, and all that.

                      However, Rework shows you a more effective, easier and faster means of succeeding when running a business. By reading it, you’ll be able to know why some plans are harmful, why you don’t really need to get investors, and why you’re better of shutting out your competition.

                      Get the book here!

                      5. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

                        This is one of the most successful motivational books in history, selling well over 15 million copies since it was released in 1936. The book is timeless, and it appeals to businesses, self-help startups, and general readers.

                        Carnegie believes that a lot of successes come from an ability to communicate rather than having brilliant insights. In his book, he teaches how to value others and make them feel appreciated and loved.

                        Get the book here!

                        6. Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

                          Through this amazing book, Malcolm Gladwell is able to take the reader on an intellectual journey through the world of ‘outliers’. He asks the question of what truly differentiates high-achievers.

                          His answer to this question is that we tend to pay too much attention to what successful people are like, and less attention to where they are actually from.

                          Get the book here!

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                          7. Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki

                            This is the best personal finance book ever written. It tells the story of Kiyosaki and his two fathers; his real father, and that of his best friend (his rich dad), as well as how the two men helped him shape his opinions on money and investing.

                            It refutes the myth that you need to earn high to become rich, and it distinguishes between working for money and having money work for you.

                            Get the book here!

                            8. The Ascent of Money: The Financial History of the World by Niall Ferguson

                              Niall Ferguson, in this book, follows the money to tell the story behind the evolution of the word’s financial system, from the beginning way back in ancient Mesopotamia to the latest occurrences in what he had dubbed Planet Finance.

                              Fergusson also reveals financial history as the backstory behind our very own history, with an argument that the evolution of debt and credit is as significant as the history of technological innovation and the rise of civilization.

                              Get the book here!

                              9. Liar’s Poker by Michael Lewis

                                Michael Lewis landed a job at Salomon Brothers after getting out of the London School of Economics and Princeton within three years, he had risen to the rank of bond salesman, making millions for the firm and cashing out steadily.

                                Liar’s Poker is the amalgamation of these years — a look behind the scenes at one of the most turbulent times in American business. His book is Lewis’s account of an era where greed and gluttony were the order of the day.

                                Get the book here!

                                10. Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us by Michael H. Pink

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                                  A lot of people see money as the best motivator. Michael pink says it’s a mistake.

                                  In this provocative book, he asserts that the secret to high performance anywhere is the need to direct our lives, to learn and create, and to do better by our world and ourselves.

                                  Get the book here!

                                  11. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen

                                    Outdated methods don’t work in today’s world. In this book, Allen shares some awesome methods for stress-free performance that he has shared with thousands of people all over the world.

                                    His premise? That productivity is proportional to your ability to relax.

                                    Get the book here!

                                    12. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

                                      In this book, Stephen Covey presents a holistic approach for overcoming both professional and personal issues. With insights and anecdotes, Covey presents a way to live with integrity fairness, service and dignity.

                                      Get the book here!

                                      13. The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape the 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Tim Ferriss

                                        In this book, Ferriss dishes on the tips he has learned from studying the New Rich, a subculture of people who did away with the deferred life plan and mastered time and mobility to developed luxury lifestyles for themselves.

                                        If you’re looking to make your way in this revolutionary new world, this here is your compass.

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                                        Get the book here!

                                        14. Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose by Tony Hsieh

                                          The CEO of Zappos shows how a unique kind of corporate identity can help deliver a huge difference in the way results are being achieved — by creating a company that values and delivers happiness.

                                          Get the book here!

                                          15. Losing My Virginity: How I Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way by Richard Branson

                                            From Virgin Atlantic Airways, Virgin Records and V2 to Virgin Cola, Virgin Megastores and a wide array of other companies, Richard Branson is the rockstar billionaire that a lot of us want to be.

                                            Branson, however, did business by following a simple philosophy:

                                            “Oh, screw it, let’s do it”

                                            Losing My Virginity is an unusual, borderline outrageous autobiography of one of the greatest business geniuses in the world. Branson and his friends named their business “Virgin” because that was what they were — virgins at the game.

                                            Since then, he’s written his success rules, creating a global business that has no headquarters, no management structure no corporate identity as it were.

                                            Get the book here!

                                            More Inspirations for Entrepreneurs

                                            Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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