‘Investigation’ has sinister, negative overtones.
‘We’re carrying out an investigation.’ ‘I'm being investigated.’
These all imply that someone has done something wrong. The jury has returned, guilt has been proven, the judge has begun to read out the punishment.
The Defence Force tried to overcome this assumption by calling investigations ‘Inquiries’. Then ‘Inquiry’ developed its own negative connotations. So Defence called then ‘Quick Assessments’. Now Quick Assessments are being replaced with something else.
Yet good decision making demands that we gather as much information as we can – ie investigate.
An investigation can be as simple as a telephone call, a conversation, a read of a policy, an email – or as complex as a royal commission.
What information do you need before you can decide what to do?
What is important is the attitude that you take to the gathering of information.
'Be curious. Read widely. Try new things. What people call intelligence just boils down to curiosity.'
- Aaron Swartz
'Our ancestors who were not curious who did not go looking over the hill to see what was on the other side disappeared. They were not successful. Tribes that were curious out competed them.'
- Bill Nye
‘To be wise is to be eternally curious.’
- Frederick Buechner
‘What I believe is that all clear-minded people should remain two things throughout their lifetimes: curious and teachable.’
- Roger Ebert