Book Sips #36 — ‘Seeing What Others Don’t’ by Gary Klein

Josh Morales
Oct 23 · 3 min read
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Seeing What Others Don’t book cover

As a researcher, gaining insights about users that teams can leverage to build customer-centric products and prioritise efforts accordingly is probably one of the most crucial tasks in my role. But INSIGHTS are like a magical spell. How can we be sure we only call actual insights an insight these days?

It all starts with a simple formula. According to Gary Klein in ‘Seeing What Others Don’t: The Remarkable Ways We Gain Insights’, performance improvements can only be achieved when we reduce errors plus we increase the exposition to gain insights. Many managers, not being able to accept unpredictability as a part of every business decision today, focus solely on gaining more certainty to keep their plans on track but at the high cost of systematically setting aside the attempt to gain insights.

Contradictions, unexpected connections and creative desperation conform The Triple Path Model, which in contrast, is proven to provide the circumstances under which the most revolutionary discoveries (like the DNA structure 🧬) have emerged. Make sure you lay on those too. A sip:

‘Insight is the opposite of predictable. Insights are disruptive. They come without warning, take forms that are unexpected, and open up unimagined opportunities. Insights get in the way of progress reviews because they reshape tasks and even revise goals. They carry risks — unseen complications and pitfalls that can get you in trouble.

So insights make you work harder. Are you prepared for this additional work? You already have so much to think about and track once your project is under way; you won’t have the mental space to anticipate all the implications of the insights your team members bring you.’

Book on a banana tree

(And btw, thanks to Lena Haydt for the gorgeous banana tree!) 🌿

To find more and better insights, let them find you first.
#joshdixit

Seeing What Others Don’t
by Gary Klein

Why read?

I read this book willing to understand the real nature of what insights are and how one can expose himself to encounter more of those. Now, I strongly believe this book radically changed the way I approach problems in my daily life and have been putting into practice the elastic thinking capabilities presented in it.

288 pages, Hodder And Stoughton, 2017

Get this book here on Amazon!

PM Library

Books and topics around tech, business and design that help you build better products.

Josh Morales

Written by

User-obsessed, readaholic and a sociologist after all — Senior User Researcher @N26, Editor of @thepmlibrary and Educator.

PM Library

With the PM Library, we help you explore new books and topics around tech, business and design because we believe reading is essential to building better products and growing in our careers. We are a team of dedicated product people based in Barcelona, London and Munich.

Josh Morales

Written by

User-obsessed, readaholic and a sociologist after all — Senior User Researcher @N26, Editor of @thepmlibrary and Educator.

PM Library

With the PM Library, we help you explore new books and topics around tech, business and design because we believe reading is essential to building better products and growing in our careers. We are a team of dedicated product people based in Barcelona, London and Munich.

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