Inside Out

An opinionated framework

We talk about ambiguity every so often. Ability to bring clarity enables great leaders to translate their vision to a concrete plan of action. Let’s step the game up. What if the territory is unchartered? What if the available information is barely complete?

Time for a framework.

The point of forecasting is not to attempt illusory certainty, but to identify the full range of possible outcomes. Try as one might, when one looks into the future, there is no such thing as “complete” information, much less a “complete” forecast. As a consequence, I have found that the fastest way to an effective forecast is often through a sequence of lousy forecasts. …

Since the mid-1980s, my mantra for this process is “strong opinions, weakly held.” Allow your intuition to guide you to a conclusion, no matter how imperfect — this is the “strong opinion” part. Then –and this is the “weakly held” part– prove yourself wrong. Engage in creative doubt. Strong Opinions weakly held by Paul Saffo

It is key to escape the decision paralysis by taking a stance with an hypothesis. And it is equally important to be detached from the hypothesis to question its foundation. A part of the hypothesis becomes evident with our search and may be one or two premises emerge along with more hypotheses.

Such a loop generates clarity.

On a sidenote, we covered a bit of this principle in defining the possible impact (Principle #3 and #4 in How we work). Let this post be a reminder for practice.


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