Seeing What Others Dont: The Remarkable Ways We Gain Insights

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I did find it a little odd how he is skepitcal of the incubation period of before an insight. He even has a personal story where he had this incubation period. I see it this way: The incubation period exists but it can be very short, which is what seems to bother the author because it does not fit all of the insights. Two things seem to determine the incubation period: 1. Complexity of the issue If the problem, is not considered particulary important you will not really think about it and if it is a complex issue you will need more time no matter what to find an answer.

Stephen Johnson is definately on to something with the "slow hunch".


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Dec 13, Douglas Mangum rated it it was amazing. Klein does a good job explaining his view of how people have come to surprising ideas that solved seemingly intransigent problems, but his model deals with more than just the "impasse" approach to problem-solving. He also explains how making connections, seeing contradictions, and experiencing happy coincidences contribute to great insights. Even Kahneman included a chapter on expertise and described how he collaborated with Klein.

By contrast, Klein's analysis of his examples often go deep in trying to understand the thinking process of someone with a deep knowledge base and lots of experience who made a discovery or had an insight in the natural world of their expertise, not in the lab.

But his model also covers the leap of insight that a rookie cop had or the inexperienced explorations of grad students trying something the established academic community dismisses as out of bounds. In the end, both Kahneman and Klein have contributed a great deal to my understanding of how people make judgments and come to conclusions.

I appreciated Klein's focus on real world experiences and I appreciated the breadth of Kahneman's studies and how his biases and heuristics can be demonstrated over and over as affecting our thinking process. If you're at all interested in social or cognitive psychology, I think you'll get something valuable from this book.

Nov 04, Niloy Mukherjee rated it liked it. Interesting book on how we generate insights but offers minimal ideas on how we can boost our ability to garner insights. Maybe this wasn't the goal of the author but it would have made this book significantly more useful. Still, a decent read to at least get a better understanding of how our minds work when we craft a new insight. Aug 24, Ryan Frantz rated it really liked it.

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Klein performs naturalistic research into the ways insights are formed and discovers three paths that lead to them: connections, contradictions, and creative desperation. His research is driven by a set of stories he selected across many decades, events, people, and experiences. The work was contrasted with lab experiments used to understand insights, especially to highlight the idea that those trials typically limit our understanding to a narrow set of ways insight is gained. This book gave me s Klein performs naturalistic research into the ways insights are formed and discovers three paths that lead to them: connections, contradictions, and creative desperation.

This book gave me some interesting ideas to consider and I'm looking forward to reading more of Klein's work. Aug 30, Peter Mcloughlin rated it liked it Shelves: psychology , general-science , nonfiction. This is a book about insights and how they happen. The author looked into cases of insight large and small and tried to find out what insights have in common and ways to foster them.

The Difference Between Insight and Intuition

The author identified five factors that are involved in insight. One was Coincidence a random piece of information from an unlikely place can lead to an insight. The second factor was curiosity where exploring a new phenomenon or idea extensively and following this lead for a long time can develop an incite. The thi This is a book about insights and how they happen. The third is connection taking an idea or piece of data from an area from far afield can lead to incite.

The fourth is Contradiction an anomaly shows up in ones picture and instead of dismissing it or explaining it away a person follows that contradiction to a new incite. The fifth is Creative desperation this happens when one is under stress and at an impasse in desperation will try something different because standard procedure isn't working and can come upon a new incite.

This can often happen in emergencies. The book also talks about being overly fearful of error can lead to lack of incite at the individual or organization level. Error correction has its place we don't want to be incompetent but being too fearful of error can blind one to opportunities. The author studies breakthoughs that required incite and pairs up the person who came up with the incite with a contemporary who was just as skilled who missed it and looks to see what made the difference.

Incite is a slippery concept and like the soldier in war we hear about the hero who made it back but forget the cemetery of people just as courageous and skilled who don't tell war stories. It is great to look at successes but we only see those who tried and won but not the graveyards of those who tried and failed and this may bias any study on successful incite. I am glad the author brought in those who failed to have insight and organizational failures but those who fail and organizations that miss out are far more common than author who spends a good deal of time with than he shows in the book.

Books by Gary Klein

Success is a great guide but it does bias a person into thinking it comes more easily than it really does in life. Still some cool stuff in the book. Mar 15, Dane Cobain rated it it was amazing. Disclaimer: While I aim to be unbiased, I received a copy of this for free to review. Boy, was I in for a surprise. Klein classifies each of the insights in his collection as connections, coincidences, curiosities or contradictions, although insights can also come about through creative desperation or through a combination of multiple factors — in fact, these combinations are the most common source of insight.

I could talk about it forever, but suffice to say that Klein explains each of the concepts clearly and concisely, using real examples to illustrate his theories. The rest of the book explains how companies and organisations try to block these insights, no matter how much they may claim the contrary. So go out and get it! Apr 10, Cody Faldyn rated it it was amazing Shelves: personal-development , innovation. In his book Klein shares stories involving his years of cognitive learning research that uncover the origins of creativity and how many successful innovators were able to create their marvelous ideas.

The goal of the book is to help you train your brain to be more creative, effectively solve more problems, avoid disruptive idea blockers, and think faster than the average person.

View Seeing What Others Don\'t: The Remarkable Ways We Gain Insights

For your convenience, I had Gary Klein on my podcast, The Entrepreneurs Library , to give a deep dive on Seeing What Oth In his book Klein shares stories involving his years of cognitive learning research that uncover the origins of creativity and how many successful innovators were able to create their marvelous ideas. If you would like to get a more in-depth look from the author himself check out episode on the EL website or you can find the show on iTunes. Feb 21, Andrea James rated it liked it Shelves: decision-making. It's probably a reasonably entertaining book I'd already read almost all of the stories that were not the author's own so it was somewhat less entertaining for me.

Though the book overall was a very quick read and the stories help us to remember the points so it wasn't too bad going over them again. I would have preferred it to include more of the author's own work in industry, his vast experience consulting, the insights that he picked up from clients, more naturalistic studies from fellow consultants perhaps and just more meat to give us better insights into insights! May 28, Mark Fallon rated it really liked it.

Much of my work as a consultant is to help my clients reduce errors and increase efficiencies.

Seeing What Others Don't by Gary Klein | PublicAffairs

According to Klein, my efforts may also be hindering my clients' abilities to gain insights and find innovative solutions. Now what do I do? Dec 28, Roger Wu rated it liked it. It was an OK book, I would have appreciated the anecdotes better minus the forced framework.

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I don't think that you can create a framework around serendipity. I did like the comparison with corporations and why they don't have much innovation. Very good read. Overall nice to have a book articulate what is going reprocessing an new revelation called insight. The ending could have been a better summary or recap of book. May 04, Doy rated it it was ok. Spent A LOT of time talking around the subject of insight, but only ends up with a couple of suggestions to get "better" at it.

Apr 14, Michael Kallan rated it it was ok Shelves: book-club.

What's Inside

Some interesting little anecdotes, but the author's premise was stretched way too thin. Very repetitive, as the book could have gotten its same point across in less pages. May 28, Kaigham rated it really liked it. How is it that an idea pops into your head? Where does the solution to that niggling problem at work come from? What keeps you from having more of those ideas?

https://riresaddheptock.ga And more importantly, how can you get better at having those ideas and solving problems? Unlike most books that assert answers without acknowledging or revealing the underlying— and often messy— How is it that an idea pops into your head? Unlike most books that assert answers without acknowledging or revealing the underlying— and often messy— work of getting to those answers, Klein, a cognitive psychologist, has structured the book to reveal and elevate that messy, underlying work. I found that approach refreshing. Not only does this approach help you to understand how we get insights in general, but you also are better tuned to how you can apply that learning to your own specific needs and ways for gaining insights.

Klein convincingly debunks the conventional and widespread belief that insights are gained by intense immersion in direct problem solving followed by a deliberate and complete disengagement period. Which when capped by a long lunch or a walk up a hill, insights on solving the problem will effortlessly and conveniently arrive in your head.


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Contradictions often cause fundamental alterations to a model and often give birth to completely new models. And finally, creative desperation— from a sheer sense of urgency— forces abandonment of an existing model and jumping to a new one in response to existential threats. Just as informative are the chapters of the book on what keeps us from having more insights and how to get better at gaining insights. To wrap up, I will point to the observation that most companies or organizations that trumpet their support and need for new insights unknowingly and unintentionally smother those very same insights through policies that demand, measure and reward the reduction of errors and increase in predictability.

As noted in the book, insights are disruptive. Insights are the opposite of predictability. The challenge and reward in better performance goes to those organizations that strike the right balance between reduction of errors and the gain of new insights. This is a bit of a strange book to review.

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