Good knowledge is at the core of innovation. The more that people understand the way the world works, the more that they can develop novel solutions to problems. This type of knowledge is called "causal knowledge."
Studies demonstrate that the people with the highest quality knowledge are the ones who routinely explain things to themselves as they learn. That is, these people consistently ask themselves "Why?" and then answer that question as they learn. When people self-explain in this way, they help to fill in the gaps in their knowledge, which gives them the raw material they need for innovation later.