Known knowns – even when you’re sure of what you know, question it, and be willing to test it.
A fact is not a fact just because you’ve found some corroborative evidence that supports it. A fact is a fact when you’ve you’ve gone looking for the evidence to discount it. If you can test your hypothesis like this with impartial curiosity and a willingness to be proved wrong, you will always learn something.
Known unknowns – once you’ve defined a gap in your knowledge, ask yourself what filling that gap will achieve. What will you do then? Or is it just ‘interesting’?
Unknown unknowns – these will always surface during the search and testing of the other two.
‘We don’t know what we don’t know’. So start with what you do know.
Start with what you want to achieve.
What do you know? Are you sure?
Now name something you don’t know but want to find out. What will you do once you have it?
Focus on objectives. Test existing assumptions. Identify the gaps. Fill the gaps. Tell the story. Take action.