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The Moment of Clarity: Using the Human Sciences to Solve Your Toughest Business Problems [Kindle Edition]

Christian Madsbjerg , Mikkel B. Rasmussen
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Included in Entrepreneur magazine's "25 Amazing Business Books from 2014" list. "Recommended Reading: 10 Books on Creative Leadership" -- Forbes "Best Business Book of the Year: Executive Self Improvement" -- strategy+business magazine "The Moment of Clarity offers some useful and thought-provoking ideas...a good place to start for those who want a readable overview of 20th-century social theorists and of the potential applications of their ideas." -- Financial Times "...the best new business book of the year." -- Tom Cox, Oregon Business "The application of sensemaking in business is made abundantly clear through a number of case studies, including LEGO, Coloplast, Intel, Adidas, and Samsung TV." -- Buyers Meeting Point ADVANCE PRAISE for The Moment of Clarity: Jorgen Vig Knudstorp, CEO and President, LEGO-- "The Moment of Clarity demonstrates the significant impact and value that businesses create when they actively build strategies around the complexity of human behavior. This book is essential reading for any leader struggling to find a solid path forward in a rocky and uncertain environment." Michael Canning, CEO, Duke Corporate Education-- "Madsbjerg and Rasmussen bring fresh perspective by applying a human lens to solve business challenges. Drawing on the social sciences, they uncover elusive insights needed for navigating our increasingly complex world. A great read--I highly recommend it." Sheila Heen, coauthor, Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most-- "Buried under spreadsheets, market analyses, and big data lies the essence of the human experience that your product or service is built on. The Moment of Clarity shows us how easily this gets lost amid the hubbub of today's business "wisdom," and how stopping to deeply understand the humanity at the heart of it all has brought some of the world's biggest companies back from the brink. Ignore Madsbjerg and Rasmussen's groundbreaking insight at your peril." Taylor Carman, Professor of Philosophy, Barnard College-- "The Moment of Clarity offers a brilliant and much-needed critique of the disastrous consequences of trading embodied intuitive understanding for abstract technical manipulation, especially for companies whose success depends on their sensitivity and responsiveness to the experiences, the concerns, the lives--in short, the worlds--of their customers. Madsbjerg and Rasmussen shine a light on the persistent but stultifying habits of corporate thinking that stand in the way of genuine imagination and insight into what it means to be human."


Businesses need a new type of problem solving. Why? Because they are getting people wrong.

Traditional problem-solving methods taught in business schools serve us well for some of the everyday challenges of business, but they tend to be ineffective with problems involving a high degree of uncertainty. Why? Because, more often than not, these tools are based on a flawed model of human behavior. And that flawed model is the invisible scaffolding that supports our surveys, our focus groups, our R&D, and much of our long-term strategic planning.

In The Moment of Clarity, Christian Madsbjerg and Mikkel Rasmussen examine the business world’s assumptions about human behavior and show how these assumptions can lead businesses off track. But the authors chart a way forward. Using theories and tools from the human sciences—anthropology, sociology, philosophy, and psychology—The Moment of Clarity introduces a practical framework called sensemaking. Sensemaking’s nonlinear problem-solving approach gives executives a better way to understand business challenges involving shifts in human behavior.

This new methodology, a fundamentally different way to think about strategy, is already taking off in Fortune 100 companies around the world. Through compelling case studies and their direct experience with LEGO, Samsung, Adidas, Coloplast, and Intel, Madsbjerg and Rasmussen will show you how to solve problems as diverse as setting company direction, driving growth, improving sales models, understanding the real culture of your organization, and finding your way in new markets.

Over and over again, executives say the same thing after engaging in a process of sensemaking: “Now I see it . . .” This experience—the moment of clarity—has the potential to drive the entire strategic future of your company. Isn’t it time you and your firm started getting people right?

Learn more about the innovation and strategy work of ReD Associates at:


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5.0 von 5 Sternen wichtiges buch, gute mischung 4. Juni 2014
Von ami
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
endlich ein gegengewicht für alle "big data" fanatiker. kernaussage: durch den blick aufs excel sheet allein lässt sich leider nicht alles vorhersagen und verstehen, denn meistens bleiben uns motivationen, kontexte und emotionen verborgen. an dieser stelle können z.b. ethnographen (oder allgemein geisteswissenschaftler) helfen, die darin geschult sind, menschen zu beobachten und zu interpretieren was sie sagen und tun. die autoren nennen das prinzip "sensemaking" und sehen darin 5 schritte:

1. re/frame the problem as a phenomen: probleme als phänomen verstehen (z.b. bei LEGO: warum spielen menschen?)
2. research / collect data: daten erhebung und v.a. qualitative recherche
3. find a pattern: muster finden
4. create key insights: die richtigen schlüsse ziehen
5. build business impact: das gelernte ein/umsetzen

das buch beinhaltet auch beispiele, anhand derer das modell der autoren aufgezeigt werden soll. manchmal ist das einleuchtender und klarer, manchmal nicht ganz so.
toll finde ich v.a. die tipps am ende des buchs, wie man z.b. teams zusammen stellt (endlich lohnt es sich mal, ein businnesbuch bis zuende zu lesen).
fazit: insgesamt ein interessantes buch mit einer guten mischung aus denkanstössen und direkter handlungsempfehlung.
War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Das Buch verdeutlicht sehr gut, weshalb qualitative Forschung in Unternehmenskontexten hilft und was sie leisten kann. Entgegen all der Richtlinien für die Umsetzung qualitativer Forschung bleiben die Autoren leider immer bei einem Kunstverständnis der Erhebung und Analyse. Da ginge sicherlich mehr. Für die Beispiele der Umsetzung vom Problem zur Erkenntnis und auch der Rückbindung ins Unternehmen ist das Buch sein Geld und die Lesezeit allemal Wert.
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.5 von 5 Sternen  53 Rezensionen
25 von 26 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen How to succeed by making sense of your customers 21. Januar 2014
Von T. Wedell-Wedellsborg - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition
The Moment of Clarity is really a book about a new and different method for understanding your customers - one that cuts through the wilderness of 'innovative' ideas to arrive at the problems that really matter to people, and hence to the bottom line of the company. As such, it is the best and most cohesive introduction I've read to the emerging field of ethnographic research - the authors call it 'sensemaking' - mixing practical advice with a much-needed high-level perspective on what is going on in businesses today.

The book has two parts - 'Getting people wrong' and 'Getting people right'. In the first part, the authors explain why a lot of existing methods fail. Not all of the arguments are new, but here, they are expertly and precisely analyzed - and in the case of the chapter on brainstorming, hilariously skewered in what is surely the funniest chapter ever published in a Harvard Business Press book. They also offer a much-needed analysis of the weaknesses of several recent trends, not least the whole Big Data movement which is currently dominating the discussion on customer intimacy. While I am not personally as skeptical of Big Data as the authors, the points they raise are certainly relevant.

The second part has a pragmatic focus and introduces the idea of sensemaking - that is, using a mix of participant observation, qualitative data gathering and holistic analysis to arrive at new insights about what really matters to customers. The core point of the book is that success comes from getting a truly immersive understanding of your customers, not through focus groups or numerical analysis, but through forgetting your own business objectives and really observing - and making sense of - what is going on in their everyday lives.

What really made the book a 5-star buy for me was the twin case stories of Lego and Coloplast. Those chapters perfectly showcase the sensemaking approach and how it works in practice. For Coloplast in particular, it was fascinating to read how studying their customers led them to uncover a seemingly simple - but hitherto overlooked - pain point that became a game changer for them.

To me, a spiritual forefather to this book is Don Graham's old masterpiece, The Design of Everyday Things, in which the author showed how poorly everyday objects like phones and door handles can be designed. The Moment of Clarity shows how, 25 years after Graham's book, we STILL don't understand our customers well enough, and gives some helpful guidance on how to fix that.

Highly recommended.
13 von 13 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A clear and insightful explanation of what's missing in strategy discussions 25. Februar 2014
Von Jeff Geels - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition
The Moment of Clarity offers a truly novel perspective on what’s missing in strategy discussions in corporate boardrooms around the world. At a fundamental level, traditional consumer research and business strategy are getting people wrong. The objectives of this book should relevant to any leader – illuminate how and why businesses are misunderstanding their consumers, help leaders detect and correct errors in their strategy, and present the foundations for a developing strategies that will work.

For me, a powerful part of the book was the critique of widely practiced strategy tools and processes. First, too many corporations today suffer from the “quantitative obsession”. The Moment of Clarity convincingly argues that something is not important just because it is measurable. The richest insights about human and consumer behavior can typically not be represented in an excel spreadsheet, and an overemphasis on the numbers can often obscure the most relevant information. Second, “brainstorming” in its current form is not a panacea. We have over systematized brainstorming with charts and post its and we assume that creativity is simply a matter of having the right processes and steps. The book gives ample evidence that creativity is not merely a matter of process and it’s also not necessarily about radical newness. Creativity can’t be forced during a one-hour meeting and doesn’t spring from fad-ish exercises – it can require a long gestation period and springs from real insights about why people act in the way they do.

What really makes this book powerful is that it starts from the very foundation of human interaction and consumer behavior. The default way of thinking in the business world is insufficient to understand and make sense of this behavior. Surveys and focus groups simply don’t capture the right level of nuance. Through a clear framework and a series of engaging case studies, The Moment of Clarity gives leaders an approach that doesn’t deliver pre-packaged solutions, but allows them to develop a unique perspective and ultimately a successful strategy. Highly recommended.
11 von 11 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen New perspective on the benefits of social science research 29. Januar 2014
Von hudson - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
Those who are interested in understanding the drivers of human decision-making, including in the business or consumer space, will find this book useful. In short, this book argues that we can't simply assume human behavior. Our assumptions are often predicated on the rational thinker, the utility optimizer, or the cost-benefit analyzer, when we know that humans don't always act in such logical or rational ways. Rather, the authors suggest that we must learn human behavior, often through direct inquiry and interpretation. Companies have advocated "staying close to the consumer" or obtaining detailed "user feedback" for years. What they haven't been necessarily doing, however, is unpacking that feedback, reading between the lines, and interpreting the real meanings that may be conveyed by consumers. This book spotlights the value of deciphering, interpreting, and elucidating what we really mean when we say one thing or act in a certain way. This book also challenges entrepreneurs and corporate execs to push for deeper meaning to better understand consumer preferences. Helping to uncover those "true" meanings and helping businesses to articulate the real values that consumers find would seem to benefit consumer and businesses alike.
7 von 7 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A great explainer for business folk on the importance of qualitative research 4. Februar 2014
Von Zuzana Love - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition
Written simply and engagingly, this book makes a compelling case for using qualitative research inspired by disciplines like anthropology in understanding your customers and the future of your industry. Peppered with anecdotes, it's a fun and breezy read that will nonetheless leave you analytically inspired.
5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Must Read for CEOs and Management Consultants 4. Februar 2014
Von Bennett W. Blodgett - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition
Well written. Well argued. Clear. Funny, and chalked full of enlightening and relevant examples - "Moment of Clarity" challenges the status quo and provides a well researched, well reasoned, battle tested, alternative to getting people - and business - right.

The authors put it best:

- "Quantitative analysis is the heart of the default problem-solving model and the soul of most strategy. It has become so dominant that companies tend to forget that the world consists not only of quantities but also of qualities....You'll find no five-step plan here, no seven secrets to such and such. What you will find is a theoretical scaffold for thinking differently about people as well as a method for applying the theory to your own business challenges"

And this is exactly what they deliver - this is a must read for every business and management consultant.
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