“When people contradict the prevailing wisdom, even professional prominence won’t protect them.” (p. 71).
“Seeing What Others Don’t – The Remarkable Ways We Gain Insights” by Gary Klein ventures where no other insight book has ventured before (according to the author) by displaying all of the various lightbulb moments that can lead to a paradigm shift in ones thinking.
The read is nonetheless very repetitive which makes it feel dumbed down. In comparison to “The Lives & The Times of The Great Composers” by Michael Steen it feels remarkably low in information content.
I assumed that the purpose of this book was to convince people that anyone can have a penchant for creative breakthrough thinking and found it interesting that only scientists and certified geniuses or high achievers were initially mentioned…
However on page 129 the author explains that diversity is real:
“The playful versus concrete reasoning style is a relatively fixed personality trait.”
What stands out in the book over and over again is that arrogance and lack of mental flexibility clouds and eclipses solutions to both complex and simple everyday problems.
It is the curious and persistent mind that delivers breakthroughs.
Those who refuse to question or let go of outdated methods in their profession can never aspire to greater things. They’ll be stuck within the standards and beliefs that are already cannon.
What was especially illuminating to me were the sections describing big companies and their inability to innovate themselves. A fear of failure quickly creates a stagnant culture where not even bankruptcy can be avoided despite countless warning signs.
An example of this mentality was illustrated in a story concerning the FBI.
Special Agent Kenneth Williams found it odd that several Arab men were learning how to fly but not how to land or takeoff. His concern was not followed up on and after 9/11 FBI director Robert Mueller proclaimed that nobody had suspected anything…
The role of a manager is to “bring workers back into compliance,” and avoid any deviance that can potentially cost the company money. This type of culture does not reward creativity or insights.
“You don’t know how to encourage insights other than hanging inspirational posters on the walls.” (p.155)
“The greatest obstacle to knowledge is not ignorance; it is the illusion of knowledge.” (p.53)
“He asserted that most scientists spend their careers doing “normal science,” basically puzzle solving within the popular research paradigms of the day.” (p.169)
Feel free to read the book for yourself, just go here to my Amazon storefront. I’ll feature whatever books I’m reading and reviewing here: The Commander In Chief on Amazon.
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