Thursday, 30 October 2014

Seeing What Others Don't - Gary Klein

This was a book on how we gain insights. Reads a bit like Malcolm Gladwell but with less dramatic statements and a lot of stories. Almost every page references a story, and all the stories are examples of how people gained insights.

An insight is sort of like a paradigm shift, you know it's an insight because you are totally changed from before you had the insight.

Described it through 3 ways to get insights:
Spotting Contradictions - When you notice something is off, or something doesn't quite fit in. Anomalies in statistics and all that.

Making Connections - When you make a connection between two seemingly unrelated points to generate an insight.

Creative Desperation - When you are stuck at an impasse and (as an act of desperation) seek for a way out. Breaking free from a flawed assumption.

Okay it's a lot more detailed than that but I think I forgot already. :/

Why we don't have insights:
Gripped by Flawed Beliefs - When we believe so strongly in something that we ignore all anomalies to the contary, refusing to investigate them.

Lack of Experience - Failing to recognise and apply past situations to the current one.

Passive Stance - Not actively searching for insights or ways to improve. Instead just 'doing your job'.

Concrete Reasoning - This is more of a personality trait; where people naturally lean towards a fixed, staunch kind of reasoning.

So obviously to increase insights:
Not be fixed by flawed beliefs.
Gain experience.
Active stance - Constantly try to take an active role in what you're doing.
Playful Reasoning - Go off on tangents that seem unusual, pointless even.

Okay in conclusion, I liked the book. But think I will forget most of what I've read in about 2 weeks. A lot of interesting revelations and stories though. Like the discovery of the double helix model in the DNA was fascinating, as were the stories about the 2007 sub-prime mortgage housing crisis that some warned about.

Okay on to my next book.

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