Archive for the ‘Wisdom’ Category

Your company needs to long-range forecast? Don’t depend on a single person!

January 18, 2008

Companies try to forecast the future. For example, a printer company tries to forecast the future demand of printers. Based on their forecasts, they make planning decisions. Thus, decisions are made in the face of uncertainty.

The more power you give to a single individual in the face of complexity and uncertainty, the more likely it is that bad decisions will get made.

Conversely, decisions made by aggregating the collective wisdom of a diverse group of people will outperform even the smartest person most of the time.

— Paraphrasing The Wisdom of Crowds by James Suroweicki

CEO: From Genius to Fool?

January 3, 2008

The business landscape of the last decade is littered with CEOs who went from being acclaimed as geniuses to being dismissed as fools because of strategic mistakes.

Were these executives fools?

Did they go from being brilliant to being stupid overnight?

No and no.  They were as smart and skilled at the end as they were at the beginning.  It’s just that they were never skilled enough to consistently predict the future, probably because no one is.

CEOs should come with the same disclaimer as mutual funds: Past success is no guarantee of future success.

— Extracted from The Wisdom of Crowds by James Suroweicki

Wise people realize that all knowledge is flawed

December 2, 2007

Wise people realize that all knowledge is flawed, that the only way to keep getting better at anything is to act on what you know now, and to keep updating.

Hard Facts by Jeffrey Pfeffer and Robert I. Sutton

Attitude of Wisdom

October 15, 2007

Wisdom means “knowing what you know and knowing what you don’t know.”

Behaving with an attitude of wisdom means that you act on your present knowledge while doubting what you know. It means that you do things now, as you keep learning along the way. It means that you compensate for your limited knowledge by building on old ideas and joining communities of smart people rather than relying only on your own insights.

Unacknowledged ignorance and arrogance stems from an absence of wisdom.

— Extracted from Hard Facts by Jeffrey Pfeffer and Robert I. Sutton