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

École Centrale Paris via Coursera


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.


  • 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.
  • 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 !
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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…
  • 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.
  • The Essence of Change
  • Is technology making us stupid?
  • Become a corporate philosopher!

Taught by

Luc de Brabandere


4.4 rating, based on 16 Class Central reviews

4.7 rating at Coursera based on 467 ratings

Start your review of On Strategy : What Managers Can Learn from Philosophy - PART 1

  • Fabio De Matos
    Although the title easily catches the eye, its goal and contents are much broader than you'd guess. It was really mind opening, since I've been long focusing on the rational way of thinking and it helped me to tap into other ways of dealing with life/world/you name it.

    It was the first MOOC I took, and it really inspired me to enroll in other MOOCs that fulfull my interests. I'm told there will be an advanced session soon, and I'm looking forward to it.
  • Bart
    Interesting and useful knowledge. Not just for managers, but everyone with an interested in perspectives explained in terms of thinkers, philosophers, writers, poets and scientists.

    I find quite a few of his ideas original. With that I mean the way he uses well known philosophical concepts to explain or view daily phenomenon. Which include quite a few phenomena from the business world.

    Every week you are asked to do a peer assessed write-up related to the lectures of the past week. Not just to show you've watched the video's but also to express some of you own knowledge and creativity using the methods just taught.
  • Anonymous
    I just completed this class through Being the product of an MBA program obsessed with metrics and quantitative analyses - which any honest practitioner will tell you aren't up to resolving many of business's (or life's) "wicked" dilemmas - Professor Brabandere's philosophical approach to managerial thinking was pure oxygen. I highly recommend it.
  • Anonymous
    What Managers Can Learn from Philosophy: The search for meaning. The most I learned about this course regarding philosophy was deducing a reason to actually continue the course. It should have been titled 'some guy talks about random things and so…
  • How to rething my way of simplifying my business goals? I am starting learning this conceptual creative thinking model. But I need to finish the whole course in order to do that wisely.
  • Dumitru P
    Really interesting ideas at the intersection of management and philosophy. I was a pleasure to follow this course.
  • Huy
  • John Walsh
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    Roberto Fray Da Silva
  • Cuneyt Anadolu

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