New insights are the basis of game-changers.  Widely accepted that gaining insights is the key to progress and unleashing new potential, and being resilient in turbulent environments.  However, when compared to the rigour we put into control of existing systems, processes, and operating models for example it is starkly lacking in definition, shared frameworks, and structure.

Talk is typically enthusiastic when talking with Boards or Executive teams about insights – it is a topic that engages groups of intelligent people, but vague about the ways as individuals and organisations that we gain insights – the triggers of insight, the activities that generate insights.

One of the highlights of my work supporting teams in building breakthrough strategies and working through transitions has always been being a part of the buzz of discovery, those ‘aha’ moments where connections made, a contradiction surfaced, an observation that sparks curiosity and deep exploration. Those moments where teams acknowledge a clearly new understanding of potential than they previously had held.

Looking back you can recall where the insight crystallised.  Some stand outs for me include:

  • Seeing the full picture across the food value chain we saw that we could change what we incentivise, put the price up for growers + save a lot of money for subsequent stakeholders.
  • Activity forecasting and improving service for complex supply chains is like the challenges faced in improving effectiveness of complex Health networks. Taking this view switches Health services from reactive to proactive/ planned/preventative reducing costs + improving care outcomes
  • A sector dominated by independents and regional networks of branch offices was leaving a massive market opportunity as large customers that had centralised, standardised and computerised. Taking a national and system enabled view enabled a period of accelerated growth.

The practice of increasing insights intrigues me.

There are various tools that are out there for individual and team creativity, designing, or problem solving that can seem to come and go in organisation practice like fashions.  All the craze one year, then fade to a vague memory the next.

What does the topic of increasing insights look like when it is all stripped back?  Beyond the fashion on tools?

We know insights can come from so many places.






Extensive work by research psychologist, Dr Gary Klein provides a comprehensive model as an overview frame.  Building off his work and study in decision making, including being leader of a team that redesigned the White House Situation Room, he studied 120 cases where the insights of people had made an unexpected shift in their beliefs and identified three paths, defining the trigger and the activity which led to the insight.

  • Contradiction path
  • Connection path
  • Creative desperation path


The Triple Path model of Insights











Source: Dr Gary Klein, Seeing What Others Don’t: The Remarkable Ways We Gain Insights

“The magic of insights stems from the force for noticing connections, coincidences, and curiosities; the force for detecting contradictions; and the force of creativity unleashed by desperation.  The magic lives inside us, stirring restlessly.”

~ Dr Gary Klein

What has been your experience in creating environments to increase insight?

Do you have an opportunity to open up more insights across your organisation?