The Cognitive Foundations of Visionary Strategy
Strategy Science (Forthcoming)
26 Pages Posted: 1 Nov 2017
Date Written: October 31, 2017
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
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