The Power of Not Thinking

How Our Bodies Learn and Why We Should Trust Them
For too long organisations have favoured the theoretical, abstract and detached knowledge of disembodied approaches to data collection and its communication: big data, surveys, focus groups and presentations. 

We have seen how much executives struggle to make sense of reports and data. Innovation and new services fail when they lack a fundamental understanding of their users’ worlds. 

From the outset Stripe Partners has championed the idea of embodied knowledge – the deep and practical understanding we acquire through our direct experience of the world. 

Our credo is that to understand the world you have to experience it. 

People use their bodies and brains to make sense of the world so our approach employs both. Embodied knowledge is central to our philosophy. The result?

Our clients develop the deep intuitive understanding they need to succeed. 

— They can combine the facts of the matter, with their intuitive feel of the world to make good decisions and catalyse action. 

— Teams learn to trust in what their shared experience of the world is telling them and act with confidence and speed.

From concept to impact

The idea that the body is critical to the formation and retention of intelligence is supported by the work of philosophers, neuroscientists and cognitive scientists.

In The Power of Not Thinking, Stripe Partners founder Simon Roberts engages with the growing body of science to explain the concept of embodied knowledge. 

But it’s not just an abstract concept. The book demonstrates the value it has for the ambitious organisations and leaders we work with. 

Using case studies from our work with Facebook, Procter & Gamble, Air Liquide and Intel, The Power of Not Thinking lifts the lid on how we do it and why it has worked to transform how our clients operate. 

Time and again, our clients say “I get it now” or speak of the strong ‘gut feeling’ which informs the confidence they have to act boldly. This is embodied knowledge in action.

Read The Power of Not Thinking and learn why you too should seek out this deep understanding on which some of the world’s most successful businesses have come to rely. 

“At a time when business is dazzled by the idea of Big Data – and popular culture is rushing to embrace the disembodied world of cyberspace – Roberts offers a brilliantly powerful case for looking at the physical world we inhabit. Lively, provocative and informative, The Power of Not Thinking explains the meaning of “embodied” knowledge in a way that has implications for business executives and policy makers working in any sphere. If you are handling Big Data, or hoping that technology can solve your problems, you should read this.”

Gillian Tett, Chair Editorial Board, Editor-at-large, US – The Financial Times

“This book is as timely as it is relevant. Bodies have always mattered but it takes a voice as clear as Simon Roberts’ to remind us of just how much, and why embodiment should be a critical part of our conversations about the future.”

Genevieve Bell, Director, 3a Institute, Australian National University

“It is easy to be dazzled by technology and feel that, these days, the human factor is merely a secondary consideration in our lives. We are doomed to be outgunned by Artificial Intelligence. But in this fascinating book Simon Roberts shows us that our bodies as well as our minds have a vital role to play in the contribution that human beings make.”

Stefan Stern, former FT columnist and author of “How To Be A Better Leader”
Have you ever held out your hand to try and remember your PIN? Or acted out a golf stroke before going for it? Or just listened to your gut on a big decision?

In this brilliant new book, leading business anthropologist Simon Roberts breaks down the revolutionary idea of embodied knowledge: the information that is unconsciously picked up by our body for use in almost every area of our lives.

Drawing on his own experience working with some of the world’s leading industry experts and looking at an incredible range of real-life examples and cutting-edge science, Roberts explains the various ways in which our body acquires, retains and employs information – and shows why we should learn to trust the instincts that inform the most crucial decisions and actions in our life.

In The Power of Not Thinking, Roberts shows why Big Data doesn’t have all the answers, why there are limits to what’s possible with AI and why humans are capable of far more than we are currently led to believe.

We just have to stop thinking and trust our bodies.

Want to know more?

Visit the book website here.

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