On Strategy : What Managers Can Learn from Great Philosophers – Coursera course experience

What a great course! I became a big fan of Professor Luc de Brabandere. With his unique French accent, throughout the course, he pointed out very important things about thinking.  This course explores the ultimate question – How do we think? By answering this question throughout the course, Professor Brabandere explains Induction and Deduction. Continue from Creativity, Innovation, and Change (CIC) course, I have been thinking about being creative and way of thinking. This course exceed my expectation and inspire me many different ways.




Learning points

  • Idea always generated in two steps – good old ^ new idea => new good
  • Rule : To have a best idea, you will need to have many many ideas.
  • How do we think?
  • In front of us is “reality(world)”. You simplify everything. Simplification of thought represents as Box/Model.
  • Induction is the other way of thinking – much more complicated process.
  • Deduction example : You have a concept of car in your box/model. Answer to “Car is…” is easy. Simply finding car brand. Like Toyota, Volvo or something.
  • Induction example : You have Reality/World in front of you and you need to bring that into your box/model. Answer to “Car is an example of …” is much harder to answer because it requires your existing or new box/model.
  • You can’t have perfect induction.
  • Algorithm, analysis, number is deduction. Heuristics, synthesism, concept is induction
  • Deduction is a form of thinking involving the application of an existing box, such as a framework, to details observed in the world in front of you, testing the box’s capacity to interpret them.
  • Induction is a form of thinking involving moving from fragmentary details (particulars) observed in the world in front of you to a connected view of a situation, a binding principle, which eventually forms a theory, a working hypothesis, a box.
  • Thinking is about organizing facts, data, and observations from the world in front of you by introducing connecting links and then using this information.
  • Managers with a strategic vision will have scenarios based on the mega trends.
  • Strategic Vision : An ambitious image of a future state that is radically preferable to the current state, according to those who develop it. It is a box that becomes a reference for a company, and thus serves as a guide allowing each employee to approach work more effectively.
  • A megatrend is a sweeping but relatively predictable change that is expected to affect the world in front of you (usually our customers, competition, market, etc). It happens independent of your company and your issues. Megatrends can serve as sources of idea in the search for new boxes.
  • A scenario is a story about a possible future; it is a box consisting of the description of an end state, a related interpretation of current reality, and an account of how the world gets from one state to the other.




I’ve learned how we think. Understanding how we process our thinking helps me in many different ways. In the end, I understood what “thinking outside of box” truly means. This course is highly recommended, especially someone who are interested in “Metathinking”.