The Cognitive Foundations of Visionary Strategy

Strategy Science (Forthcoming)

26 Pages Posted: 1 Nov 2017

See all articles by Melissa A. Schilling

Melissa A. Schilling

New York University (NYU) - Department of Management and Organizational Behavior

Date Written: October 31, 2017

Abstract

Some strategic decisions will long be remembered for being remarkably successful, providing dramatic benefits to customers, investors, or social welfare. The individuals who make these decisions are often called “visionary.” But what enables some people to be visionary? Is it a gift, or skill, and can it be learned? In this paper I identify three main cognitive processes that underlie the creation of visionary strategy: abstraction, idealism, and long paths of analytical reasoning. Using a combination of examples and cognitive science, I explain how they work individually and in combination, and how they may be cultivated.

Keywords: creativity, strategy, leadership, breakthrough innovation, cognition, abstraction, idealism

JEL Classification: M10

Suggested Citation

Schilling, Melissa A., The Cognitive Foundations of Visionary Strategy (October 31, 2017). Strategy Science (Forthcoming). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3062996

Melissa A. Schilling (Contact Author)

New York University (NYU) - Department of Management and Organizational Behavior ( email )

40 West Fourth Street
New York, NY 10012
United States
212-998-0249 (Phone)
212-995-4235 (Fax)

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