Blink: Reading Guide – Chapter Four

PAUL VAN RIPER’S BIG VICTORY

1. Riper believed that strategy and complex theory were inappropriate and futile in the midst of battle, “where the uncertainties of war and the pressure of time made it impossible to compare options carefully and calmly.” What other ‘work’ spaces discount rational analysis and demand immediate ‘battlefield’ decision-making?

2. Can one ever really prepare for decisive, rapid-fire scenarios? Is planning for the unpredictable worthwhile or a waste of time and energy?

3. If improvisational comedy is governed by rules and requires practice like any other sport, could anyone be a stand-up comic or performer? Or, will some people always naturally be better at thinking on their toes and more adept at unleashing spontaneity?

4. Riper says, “When we talk about analytic versus intuitive decision-making, neither is good or bad. What is bad is if you use either of them in an inappropriate circumstance.” But is decision-making all about the circumstances or more about the personality of the decision-maker i.e. do circumstances have more impact on decision-making if you are a more cerebral, logical individual versus an indecisive, instinctual one?