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