Gary Klein’s “Seeing What Others Don’t” began as a pile of newspaper articles that highlighted actions taken as a result of some kind of insight. The stories of insight illustrated how insightful decisions were made by all kinds of people. As his pile grew, so did his curiosity. Klein began to investigate the stories and began to understand how insight is sparked and what allows us to make sense of contradictory facts. His findings are broken out in three parts: How insight is triggered; what interferes with insight; and ways to foster insight. The book is filled with interesting, relatable stories that illustrate each concept.What I took from the book is that there are ways you can prepare yourself for insights to strike. However, not everyone will see the same things in the same ways, and the insight you might have may go unnoticed. Further, by doing the things that help you to be “insightful” you may be thwarting your insight!
If you like research books that bury you in data, you might not like this book. However, if you want to have fun along with your learning, you will enjoy this book. It is written in the style of books by Macolm Gladwell, Chip and Dan Heath, Dan Ariely and the Freakonomics guys (Leavitt and Dubner). If you like their style of writing, chances are that you will like Klein as well.