On Strategy : What Managers Can Learn from Philosophy - PART 1

About this course: In the expression “creative thinking”, the keyword is not creativity; the keyword is thinking. With the help of great philosophers, you will rediscover the art of thinking. To help leaders to be rigorous even without figures, great philosophers have lots of ideas. Managers are invited to rediscover the art of thinking. They should understand the role of mental models, realize the importance of cognitive bias, agree on clear definitions and efficient criteria etc. Creativity demands the ability to unshackle ourselves from conventional ways of thinking, to "think outside the box". But we need to go a step further. Once outside the box, we need to construct a new box or boxes (that is, new intellectual frameworks or models) to help us structure our thinking. Only once we have done so can we generate truly game-changing ideas.

Created by:  CentraleSupélec

Language
English
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Syllabus
WEEK 1
The Forgotten Half of Change
This lecture will discuss how strategy is mostly about leading change. New ideas are required because the world of tomorrow will be, again, different. And we need to remember change has two faces : perception and reality.  
8 videos
  1. Video: Introduction
  2. Video: Change : Parmenides or Heraclites ?
  3. Video: Two Types of Change : Perception and Reality
  4. Video: To Change is to Change Twice
  5. Video: Innovation vs Creativity
  6. Video: Not a Single Idea is Born Good
  7. Video: "Yes and…"
  8. Video: Three kinds of new ideas
Graded: The Forgotten Half of Change: Peer Review
WEEK 2
How do we Think ?
In the first lecture, we’ve seen that if we want to change the world, we have to act. And if we want to change our perception of the world, we have to think. So now… it is time to think about the way we think !  
6 videos
  1. Video: You can not Think About your Clients !
  2. Video: To Think is Like to Play : Playground, Rules,…
  3. Video: Concepts are Simplifications
  4. Video: Perfect Deduction, Possible. Perfect Induction, Impossible
  5. Video: The Power of Analogy and the Black Swan
  6. Video: Knowledge, Belief, Representation and Idea
Graded: Peer Review: How do we Think?
WEEK 3
On the Shoulders of Giants
For this third lecture, I invite you on a journey in the world of past ideas. Six guides will show us how they shaped this incredible world where everything is connected. 
7 videos
  1. Video: Everything is Connected
  2. Video: Mathematics
  3. Video: Astronomy
  4. Video: Paradoxes
  5. Video: Leibniz’s Dream
  6. Video: The Fifth Discipline
  7. Video: The Mind and the Machine
Graded: Peer Review: On the Shoulders of Giants
WEEK 4
Mental Models and Perception
After a short recap, we will agree on four key definitions necessary to understand the rules of thinking. Thanks to a lot of examples, optical illusions and brain treasers, we will see how we build and how we use mental models.  
6 videos
  1. Video: Four Key Definitions
  2. Video: Philosophy is also About Models
  3. Video: Models in Psychology
  4. Video: Optical Illusions and Brain Teasers
  5. Video: Paradox
  6. Video: Ambiguity
Graded: Peer Review: Mental Models and Perception
WEEK 5
Eureka or Caramba ?
Heraclites is definitely right, status quo is not an option, change is a must. The only alternative is either to lead the process, or to be a victim of the process. We will also understand why paradoxically creativity and rigor are good friends…  
6 videos
  1. Video: Leader or Follower
  2. Video: Cognitive Bias in Deduction
  3. Video: Cognitive Bias in Induction
  4. Video: Test your Creativity
  5. Video: Test your Creativity (cont’d)
  6. Video: Constraint and Creativity
Graded: Peer Review: Eureka or Caramba?
WEEK 6
Thinking in New Boxes
As I told you from the very first minute, philosophers don't claim to be right, they hope to be helpful. This sixth and last lecture is dedicated to you, strategists. We will see how to build the five "new boxes" we need to achieve the next big thing.  
6 videos
  1. Video: What’s the Box ?
  2. Video: You can’t Think Without Boxes
  3. Video: Strategic Vision and Scenarios
  4. Video: Megatrends
  5. Video: Scenarios
  6. Video: Creativity is mostly about passion
Graded: Final Exam
WEEK 7
The Essence of Change
 
7 videos
  1. Video: The end of...
  2. Video: You need a fixed point
  3. Video: Philosophy as a fixed point
  4. Video: Two first challenges
  5. Video: Another center of gravity
  6. Video: The four causes of Aristotle
  7. Video: 'A thus B' or 'A and B'
WEEK 8
Is technology making us stupid?
 
6 videos
  1. Video: Four types of tools
  2. Video: The disappointing equation
  3. Video: A third example: Big Data
  4. Video: The end of Science?
  5. Video: Question what is in front of you
  6. Video: Who is the tool of who?
WEEK 9
Become a corporate philosopher!
 
7 videos
  1. Video: Use the right words
  2. Video: Use criteria
  3. Video: Beware the question
  4. Video: Use creativity techniques
  5. Video: Think visual
  6. Video: Never stop thinking
  7. Video: Embrace humor
How It Works
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Creators
CentraleSupélec
CentraleSupélec is the result of the merger of the Ecole Centrale Paris and the Supélec. The collaboration between the two Colleges of engineering begun in 1969 with the introduction of the joint competitive entrance exam. Since 2009, the Ecole Centrale Paris and Supélec have continually strengthened their partnerships and collaborations with the aim of encompassing the whole of their activities (engineering education, research and post graduate programs) and confirmed their shared values of excellence, innovation, entrepreneurship, internationalization and leadership. Today CentraleSupélec aims to become a reference in the field of engineering and systems sciences and a leading engineering College in the area of higher education and research, ranked amongst the best institutions in the world.
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