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date: 15 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Both ordinary and dynamic capabilities depend upon the deep smarts, i.e., business-critical, experience-based knowledge, held in the heads of an organization’s top talent. This chapter examines the links between individual and organizational capabilities and presents the theory and research on deep smarts. The six most universally found characteristics of this particular kind of expertise are: deep domain knowledge; pattern-recognition-based decision making; system perspective; context awareness; diagnostic acuity; and skilled networking. Such deep smarts, as illustrated through extensive examples of entrepreneurs, are operationalized differently in highly volatile environments than in relatively stable ones. Although deep smarts are based on experience, they are skills and abilities rather than static knowledge reservoirs. Therefore, they are particularly essential to dynamic capabilities and to innovation.

Keywords: Expertise, volatility, uncertainty, entrepreneur, learning, organizational adaptation, innovation, deep smarts

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