Whenever Gary Klein read an interesting article - one that he was curious about, or that showcased the unusual, he stacked it in a pile on his desk. I can relate, I've done similar stacking projects in my life. The difference between Gary and me, is he remembered a) that he stacked b) why and then he analysed them and wrote this book.
And it was so interesting. Trying to show how humans can develop insight - that unique ability to solve problems, create something out of nothing or think through complex outcomes, he developed a framework for thinking about insight - insight basically comes from three sources -
He tells stories, explains how these theories were developed and also links to other work done in this field. It had me spellbound.
- "Finding an inconsistency" - something that doesn't make sense, a contradiction;
- "A connection path" - joining the dots, or linking theories together to expand on previous knowledge
- "Creative desperation" - when faced with extreme adversity, a whole new way of thinking is created.
There are also other gems of information - how companies spend way too mųch time analysing sources of errors, instead of developing insight, which has a more significant impact on the business.
Klein is the first to admit that 120 stories collected by him is not exactly a scientific method of analysing the difficult question of how insight arises, but because he has studied other works extensively, and also his experience as a consultant, this book is useful. It also is far easier to read than its counterparts - everyone loves good stories, and there are plenty here for dinner time conversation.
You may also enjoy Richard Thaler's Misbehaving or The Knowledge Illusion by Steven Sloman and Philip Fernbach.