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On Strategy: What Managers can learn from Philosophy - Part 2

École Centrale Paris via Coursera

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Overview

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This entire MOOC is based on one of my strongest beliefs: philosophy is the best tool to help managers in areas where no numbers are available. After all a strategic vision is an "idea", it is translated into a "concept", a business model is a … "model" etc. And we need to better understand what is an idea, what is a concept, what is a model etc. In other words we need to better understand how do we think. In the first six lectures we made a surprising journey from the ancient Greek philosophers to the corporate world of today. You probably crossed a set of "new territories" but honestly, it was the same for me !

Apparently this experience has no end in sight! The first six lectures are broadcasted for a second time during this fall and I had the chance to record three additional lectures last September. Not a surprise: philosophy is like a country you want to visit, there are always new roads to discover and even new paths to create. It is highly recommended to have attended lectures 1-6 to take the most out of this part 2.

In lecture 7, I examine the deep nature of the changes the world is currently facing and the associated challenges for us. Lecture 8 focus on one of them: the impact of technology on the way we think. In the last lecture I suggest some tips that might help you to become a better manager, in other words to become a corporate philosopher.

Evaluations will be similar to the ones you had so far: open questions that request some research. At the end of lecture 9, I will again ask you to submit a short paper about a famous quote of a great philosopher.

Moreover, we will organize a Google Hangout during lecture 8.

Syllabus

Lecture 7: The Essence of Change
7.1 The end of...
7.2 You need a fixed point
7.3 Philosophy as a fixed point
7.4 Two first challenges
7.5 Another center of gravity
7.6 The four causes of Aristotle
7.7 'A thus B' or 'A and B'

Lecture 8: Is technology making us stupid?
8.1 Four types of tools
8.2 The disappointing equation
8.3 A third example: Big Data
8.4 The end of Science?
8.5 Question what is in front of you
8.6 Who is the tool of who?

Lecture 9: Become a corporate philosopher!
9.1 Use the right words
9.2 Use criteria
9.3 Beware the question
9.4 Use creativity techniques
9.5 Think visual
9.6 Never stop thinking
9.7 Embrace humor

Taught by

Luc de Brabandere

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