BOOK REVIEW: A.L.I.E.N. Thinking by Cyril Bouquet, Jean-Louis Barsoux and Michael Wade

BOOK REVIEW: A.L.I.E.N. Thinking by Cyril Bouquet, Jean-Louis Barsoux and Michael Wade


ABOUT THE BOOK (from Amazon):

How do people come up with truly original ideas? The answer is to think outside the box—way outside.

For the past decade, Cyril Bouquet, Jean-Louis Barsoux, and Michael Wade, professors of innovation and strategy at IMD Business School, have studied inventors, scientists, doctors, entrepreneurs, and artists. These people, or “aliens,” as the authors call them, are able to make leaps of creativity, and use five patterns of thinking that distinguish them from the rest of us.

These five patterns—Attention, Levitation, Imagination, Experimentation, and Navigation—lead to a fresh and flexible approach to problem-solving. Alien thinkers know how to free the imagination so it can detect hard-to-observe patterns. They practice deliberate ways to retreat from the world in order to see the big picture underlying a problem. And they approach ideas in systematic ways that reflect the constraints of reality.

Through surprising and compelling stories, the authors show how readers can use this method to develop out-of-this-world ideas. Alien Thinking can help any of us find innovative solutions to the most difficult problems.


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I’ll be honest, I didn’t make it 100% of the way through this book. I couldn’t. It was so incredibly boring. I got to page 200 (out of 253), and finally decided to give it up.

A.L.I.E.N. Thinking was recommended by a leadership book club I belong to, so I expected it to be really good. It wasn’t.

The idea behind the book is that “A.L.I.E.N. Thinking” (Attention, Levitation, Imagination, Experimentation, and Navigation) is the key to breakthrough ideas in business. There were a lot of good stories in the book of people who came up with breakthrough ideas that changed industries. All were very interesting, but the overall delivery for me was just flat.

Needless to say, I don’t recommend this book.

Published by Kelly Schuknecht

Kelly Schuknecht is a marketer with a background in the publishing industry. She is passionate about all things related to books and loves helping authors navigate the world of social media for book promotion. She recently launched the course Marketing Your Book on TikTok.

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