Gerald Haman devoted about 20 years to fine tune and perfect just SEVEN questions. Indeed that’s a long time, but innovators discovered the questions keep getting better.
Customers named the 7 questions, “Haman’s Investigator Questions” or HIQ. HIQ became famous as innovators have used the questions to generate thousands of ideas. Adidas used Haman’s Questions to develop award-winning sport shoes. Valvoline used Haman’s Investigator Questions to create breakthrough automotive products. AT&T used HIQ to better understand customers and tailor product offerings. Microsoft used HIQ to plan a successful conference for thousands of people.
While studying instructional design in graduate school at the University of Minnesota, Haman realized that one of the most important questions, instructional designers should ask was: “What should people know, and when do they need to know it?” That single question evolved into 7 questions as Haman helped customers apply the original instructional design question to designing innovative products, services and experiences.
Haman’s Instructional Design Question
(1990 Original): What should people KNOW, and WHEN do they need to know it?
1. What should people BE?
2. What should people KNOW?
3. What should people FEEL?
4. What should people HAVE?
5. What should people DO?
6. What should people THINK?
7. What should people SENSE?
Over the years the questions and their order have changed and evolved as innovators realized the questions could be used by nearly anyone for almost any goal, challenge or problem. Most people start out by asking a few traditional questions such as “What’s your goal? or What are the problems?” However those questions may not provoke people to think deeply or broad enough. Go ahead and experiment by using Haman’s Innovative Investigator Questions for your next meeting, interview or survey.
For owners of Haman’s KnowBrainer Innovation Tool, the questions will look familiar as they are included in the Investigate Stage of the tool.