The Association for Qualitative Research
The Hub of Qualitative Thinking

What kinda thing

Mark Earls fronted AQR's third webinar and urged those who joined in to 'copy, copy, copy'. Kath Rhodes enjoyed the experience.

A few Fridays ago I changed my usual routine. I shifted my gym session from an hour to 45 mins (who knew a 45-minute workout would be worse than an hour one?), I zipped back to my desk, and I just got there to see Mark Earls’ excellent webinar ‘What Kinda(!) Thing?”. Actually I missed the first minute, but that was just the waffle

Copy, copy, copy

It was worth the effort. If you tuned in, you’ll have heard Mark talking about his forthcoming book Copy, copy, copy, and its central theme — steal widely, and steal well. Mark wants us to face it that there are no really original ideas, just ideas that have been repurposed. We need to relax about being original and start casting around for the thinking other people have already done.

And if there are no new ideas, then we can try to figure out, when we’re thinking about our project work, what kind of problem we are looking at, and what kind of answer we need to apply.

Big picture thinking

Mark wants us to do more big picture thinking so we can deliver better content to our clients (he reckons we’re in the content business, which I found very motivating). He thinks this broader thinking is more useful to clients.

If you remain unconvinced about his argument, if you’re a ‘devil is in the detail’ person, or you think trying to simplify thinking is what’s wrong with the world today, that’s OK. I was partly thinking that while I was listening away to what Mark had to say. And that internal dialogue is the good stuff that the Hub delivers.

For me, the webinar offered us half an hour on a Friday to join in with other researchers, wherever they where, to learn something new. And the listening in was really enjoyable. If you’re a radio fan, if the kind of learning you do well is aural, then you’ll love being able to scribble down interesting ideas, and tips on inspiring thinkers. It was nice too, to hear Mark chuckling away at his own jokes, it felt both close and remote at the same time.

Listen again

You can go back, too, to the Hub to listen again, or if you missed it the first time, it’s here on the website:

Webinar: What Kinda Thing

I went back to re-listen, and I’m so glad I did. I listened to Mark’s explanation of how people choose and his four boxes, which simply describe how people make decisions, and I realised what kind of thing
I’m dealing with on my latest project.

So, I’m going to re-purpose Mark’s thinking for myself, and copy, copy, copy

 

Kath Rhodes
Copyright © Association for Qualitative Research, 2014