Strategic Intuition: The Creative Spark in Human Achievement

Strategic Intuition: The Creative Spark in Human Achievement

by William Duggan , Ph.D.

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How "Aha!" really happens.

When do you get your best ideas? You probably answer "At night," or "In the shower," or "Stuck in traffic." You get a flash of insight. Things come together in your mind. You connect the dots. You say to yourself, "Aha! I see what to do." Brain science now reveals how these flashes of insight happen. It's a special form of intuition. We call it strategic intuition, because it gives you an idea for action-a strategy.

Brain science tells us there are three kinds of intuition: ordinary, expert, and strategic. Ordinary intuition is just a feeling, a gut instinct. Expert intuition is snap judgments, when you instantly recognize something familiar, the way a tennis pro knows where the ball will go from the arc and speed of the opponent's racket. (Malcolm Gladwell wrote about this kind of intuition in Blink.) The third kind, strategic intuition, is not a vague feeling, like ordinary intuition. Strategic intuition is a clear thought. And it's not fast, like expert intuition. It's slow. That flash of insight you had last night might solve a problem that's been on your mind for a month. And it doesn't happen in familiar situations, like a tennis match. Strategic intuition works in new situations. That's when you need it most.

Everyone knows you need creative thinking, or entrepreneurial thinking, or innovative thinking, or strategic thinking to succeed in the modern world. All these kinds of thinking happen through flashes of insight—strategic intuition. And now that we know how it works, you can learn to do it better. That's what this book is about.

Over the past ten years, William Duggan has conducted pioneering research on strategic intuition and for the past three years has taught a popular course at Columbia Business School on the subject. He now gives us this eye-opening book that shows how strategic intuition lies at the heart of great achievements throughout human history: the scientific and computer revolutions, women's suffrage, the civil rights movement, modern art, microfinance in poor countries, and more. Considering the achievements of people and organizations, from Bill Gates to Google, Copernicus to Martin Luther King, Picasso to Patton, you'll never think the same way about strategy again.

Three kinds of strategic ideas apply to human achievement:

* Strategic analysis, where you study the situation you face
* Strategic intuition, where you get a creative idea for what to do
* Strategic planning, where you work out the details of how to do it.

There is no shortage of books about strategic analysis and strategic planning. This new book by William Duggan is the first full treatment of strategic intuition. It's the missing piece of the strategy puzzle that makes essential reading for anyone interested in achieving more in any field of human endeavor.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780231512329
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication date: 10/18/2007
Series: Columbia Business School Publishing
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 208
File size: 603 KB

About the Author

William Duggan is senior lecturer at Columbia Business School, where he teaches strategic intuition in graduate and executive courses. He has given talks and workshops on strategic intuition to thousands of executives from companies in countries around the world. His most recent book is Creative Strategy: A Guide for Innovation, a sequel to Strategic Intuition.
Bill Duggan is a professor at Columbia Business School and the author of three recent books on innovation: Strategic Intuition: The Creative Spark in Human Achievement (2007); Creative Strategy: A Guide for Innovation (2012); and The Seventh Sense: How Flashes of Insight Change Your Life (2015).

Table of Contents

1. Flash Vs. Blink: An Introduction to Strategic Intuition
2. Revolution on Earth: Flashers of Insight in Scientific Discovery
3. Two Halves of a Brain: Intelligent Memory in Neuroscience
4. Lieutenant M Saves Your Life: Expert Intuition in Action
5. The Corsican Conquers Europe: Coup d'Oeil in Classical Military Strategy
6. Warrior Buddha: The Path to Beginner's Mind
7. Gates and the Google Guys: Strategic Innovation in Business
8. Mouse, Minister and Moneylender: The Art of What Works in Social Enterprise
9. Picasso Dines with an African Sculpture: Creative Combination in the Profession
10. Do We Do Dewey? Teaching Strategic Intuition
11. Kennedy Shoots for the Moon: Progress Through Opportunity
Appendix: Strategic Intuition Online

What People are Saying About This

Glenn Hubbard

William Duggan's book is really on point. His work has enormous implications for the teaching of strategy.

Douglas C. Lovelace

This book will be the first to introduce formally, authoritatively, and convincingly the notion of strategic intuition. All strategic leaders can benefit immensely from it.

Gilman Louie

Whether finding the next great game designer or the next great entrepreneur, I always try to find those special few who have made the 'giant leap' to the next big idea. William Duggan finally explains how the mind forms great leaps and how throughout time individuals have used strategic intuition to change the world. Strategic Intuition should be required reading for anyone in the venture capital business.

Robin Harper

Whether the subject is art, science, or business, William Duggan takes us on a fascinating exploration into how the human brain connects experience and knowledge to create entirely new ideas in momentary flashes of insight. A definitely important read for anyone charged with bringing innovation to strategic leadership.

Customer Reviews