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jerryking : judgment   20

Dyson and the art of making quick decisions
October 16, 2019 | Financial Times | by John Gapper.

Article is arguing for enforcing a “shot clock” on lingering decisions and to put plans into action faster and regain competitive footing in your industry/business.

Entrepreneur, James Dyson, unceremoniously abandoned a Dyson initiative to build an electric car.  It demonstrated how unsentimental he was about unsuccessful experiments.....Better to acknowledge defeat as early as possible rather than after having thrown away hundreds of millions...For any business to thrive, difficult decisions need to be made, from new projects to corporate strategy. “The job of the CEO, everyone knows, is to make decisions,” wrote Ram Charan, a veteran strategy adviser. This is especially true when entire industries are facing disruption to their business models......Indecision is common in companies facing myriad possibilities, when executives are struggling to assess alternatives for future strategy. Many managers become frustrated by the glacial pace of corporate decision-making. McKinsey, the consultancy, surveyed executives who complained of “over-reliance on consensus and death by committee”, among other irritations....It is not always the chief executive’s fault. Some managers are comfortable with making simple decisions but struggle when they are promoted to a level where they are exposed to ambiguity and uncertainty. They need to employ their judgment, rather than consulting the data like an oracle. Their indecision can also infect the CEO. But your business is not a democracy....Some executives promote a “five second rule” to prompt executives who report to them to reach decisions (i.e. summarise the alternatives and options for any strategy, pause and pick one).....Being forced to use intuition after considering the evidence helps to avoid being paralysed by a question when there is no easy answer......Daniel Kahneman, the Nobel Prize-winning psychologist, observed that “managers think of themselves as captains of a ship on a stormy sea” who respond skilfully to the elements around them. It feels better to pick a destination and sail in that direction than to wallow around.....But Prof Kahneman won his economics Nobel for research on the cognitive biases that affect human choices. Making quick decisions, even informed by experience and expertise, is valuable but not foolproof. As he noted, “intuition feels just the same when it’s wrong and when it’s right, that’s the problem.”....Those who consider a challenge from all angles and act prudently and decisively may still be wrong. “Even highly experienced, superbly competent and well-intentioned managers are fallible,” Prof Kahneman wrote. Among the traps is the “halo effect” of believing that an executive who has succeeded before will make any project work. It follows that leaders should not be trapped by their decisions, or the confirmation bias of believing that the chosen path must be correct...... It is difficult when a leader place the entire company on another course, only to discover the pitfalls. It may take a successor to come along and reverse those choices. But decisions will at least prove right some of the time; indecision is always mistaken.
ambiguities  analysis_paralysis  CEOs  clock_speed  confirmation_bias  decision_making  Daniel_Kahneman  Dyson  halo_effects  hard_choices  HBR  humility  indecision  intuition  leaders  James_Dyson  judgment  mistakes  Ram_Charan  shot_clock  speed  tough-mindedness  uncertainty  unsentimental 
october 2019 by jerryking
How a Former Canadian Spy Helps Wall Street Mavens Think Smarter
Nov. 11, 2018 | The New York Times | By Landon Thomas Jr.

* “Atomic Habits: An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones,” by James Clear. “
* “The Laws of Human Nature,” an examination of human behavior that draws on examples of historical figures by Robert Greene.
* “Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Bets When you Don’t Have All the Cards” by Annie Duke,
* “On Grand Strategy,” an assessment of the decisions of notable historical leaders by the Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer John Lewis Gaddis

Shane Parrish has become an unlikely guru for Wall Street. His self-improvement strategies appeal to his overachieving audience in elite finance, Silicon Valley and professional sports.....Shane Parrish is a former cybersecurity expert at Canada’s top intelligence agency and an occasional blogger when he noticed something curious about his modest readership six years ago: 80 percent of his followers worked on Wall Street......The blog was meant to be a method of self-improvement, however, his lonely riffs — on how learning deeply, thinking widely and reading books strategically could improve decision-making skills — had found an eager audience among hedge fund titans and mutual fund executives, many of whom were still licking their wounds after the financial crisis.

His website, Farnam Street, urges visitors to “Upgrade Yourself.” In saying as much, Mr. Parrish is promoting strategies of rigorous self-betterment as opposed to classic self-help fare — which appeals to his overachieving audience in elite finance, Silicon Valley and professional sports. ....Today, Mr. Parrish’s community of striving financiers is clamoring for more of him. That means calling on him to present his thoughts and book ideas to employees and clients; attending his regular reading and think weeks in Hawaii, Paris and the Bahamas; and in some cases hiring him to be their personal decision-making coach......“We are trying to get people to ask themselves better questions and reflect. If you can do that, you will be better able to handle the speed and variety of changing environments.”....Parrish advises investors, to disconnect from the noise and to read deeply......Few Wall Street obsessions surpass the pursuit of an investment edge. In an earlier era, before computers and the internet, this advantage was largely brain power. Today, information is just another commodity. And the edge belongs to algorithms, data sets and funds that track indexes and countless other investment themes.......“It is all about habits,” “Setting goals is easy — but without good habits you are not getting there.”......“Every world-class investor is questioning right now how they can improve,” he said. “So, in a machine-driven age where everything is driven by speed, perhaps the edge is judgment, time and perspective.”
books  brainpower  Charlie_Munger  coaching  commoditization_of_information  CSE  cyber_security  decision_making  deep_learning  disconnecting  financiers  gurus  habits  investors  judgment  life_long_learning  overachievers  personal_coaching  perspectives  Pulitzer_Prize  questions  reading  reflections  self-betterment  self-improvement  slight_edge  smart_people  Wall_Street  Warren_Buffett 
november 2018 by jerryking
We Survived Spreadsheets, and We’ll Survive AI - WSJ
By Greg Ip
Updated Aug. 2, 2017

History and economics show that when an input such as energy, communication or calculation becomes cheaper, we find many more uses for it. Some jobs become superfluous, but others more valuable, and brand new ones spring into existence. Why should AI be different?

Back in the 1860s, the British economist William Stanley Jevons noticed that when more-efficient steam engines reduced the coal needed to generate power, steam power became more widespread and coal consumption rose. More recently, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology-led study found that as semiconductor manufacturers squeezed more computing power out of each unit of silicon, the demand for computing power shot up, and silicon consumption rose.

The “Jevons paradox” is true of information-based inputs, not just materials like coal and silicon......Just as spreadsheets drove costs down and demand up for calculations, machine learning—the application of AI to large data sets—will do the same for predictions, argue Ajay Agrawal, Joshua Gans and Avi Goldfarb, who teach at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. “Prediction about uncertain states of the world is an input into decision making,” they wrote in a recent paper. .....Unlike spreadsheets, machine learning doesn’t yield exact answers. But it reduces the uncertainty around different risks. For example, AI makes mammograms more accurate, the authors note, so doctors can better judge when to conduct invasive biopsies. That makes the doctor’s judgment more valuable......Machine learning is statistics on steroids: It uses powerful algorithms and computers to analyze far more inputs, such as the millions of pixels in a digital picture, and not just numbers but images and sounds. It turns combinations of variables into yet more variables, until it maximizes its success on questions such as “is this a picture of a dog” or at tasks such as “persuade the viewer to click on this link.”.....Yet as AI gets cheaper, so its potential applications will grow. Just as better weather forecasting makes us more willing to go out without an umbrella, Mr. Manzi says, AI emboldens companies to test more products, strategies and hunches: “Theories become lightweight and disposable.” They need people who know how to use it, and how to act on the results.
artificial_intelligence  Greg_Ip  spreadsheets  machine_learning  predictions  paradoxes  Jim_Manzi  experimentation  testing  massive_data_sets  judgment  uncertainty  economists  algorithms  MIT  Gilder's_Law  speed  operational_tempo  Jevons_paradox  decision_making  steam_engine  William_Jevons 
august 2017 by jerryking
Representation: Edmund Burke, Speech to the Electors of Bristol
Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.
democracy  politics  speeches  Edmund_Burke  quotes  judgment  representation 
november 2016 by jerryking
MBA Mondays: Turning Your Team
August 12, 2013 | – AVC | Fred Wilson.

A serial entrepreneur I know tells me "you will turn your team three times on the way from startup to a business of scale." What he means is that the initial team will depart, replaced by another team, which in turn will be replaced by yet another team....Companies scale and the team needs to scale with it. That often means turning the team.

The "turning your team" thing probably makes sense to most people. But executing it is where things get tricky and hard. How are you going to push out the person who built the first product almost all by themselves? How are you going to push out the person who brought in the first customer? How are you going to tell the person who managed your first user community so deftly that their services are no longer needed by your company?

And when do you need to do this and in what order? It's not like you tell your entire senior team to leave on the same day. So the execution of all of this is hard and getting the timing right is harder.
advice  business  scaling  teams  start_ups  Fred_Wilson  turning_your_team  turnarounds  execution  judgment  serial_entrepreneur  think_threes 
october 2016 by jerryking
How to Buy Art: A Beginner’s Cheat Sheet - NYTimes.com
MAY 7, 2015 | NYT| By WILLIAM GRIMES and ROBIN POGREBIN.

EDUCATE YOUR EYE Go see as much as you can — at galleries, museums and art fairs and by trolling online. The more art you see, the more you will develop clear judgment. Knowledge can help put things in context, but expertise isn’t a prerequisite. Marc Glimcher, president of Pace Gallery, says: “Go to a museum first and see what speaks to you. Identify which thread of art history is meaningful to you before heading to the galleries or the auction.”

Photo

THE LONG VIEW Budding collectors shouldn’t just buy what initially captivates them. “Ask yourself how something might look when you know more, how something might look over time,” said Amy Cappellazzo, co-founder of Art Agency, Partners, an art advisory firm. “The best thing to do is put yourself in a position where the first purchase actually challenges you a little — you’re not sure you like something, but you can’t stop looking at it. Imagine your smarter self looking at it in five years.”
auctions  art  artwork  art_galleries  museums  howto  self-education  judgment  Colleges_&_Universities  art_schools  students  contextual  long-term  collectors  collectibles  investing  investment_advice  pitfalls  mistakes 
may 2015 by jerryking
How Not to Drown in Numbers - NYTimes.com
MAY 2, 2015| NYT |By ALEX PEYSAKHOVICH and SETH STEPHENS-DAVIDOWITZ.

If you’re trying to build a self-driving car or detect whether a picture has a cat in it, big data is amazing. But here’s a secret: If you’re trying to make important decisions about your health, wealth or happiness, big data is not enough.

The problem is this: The things we can measure are never exactly what we care about. Just trying to get a single, easy-to-measure number higher and higher (or lower and lower) doesn’t actually help us make the right choice. For this reason, the key question isn’t “What did I measure?” but “What did I miss?”...So what can big data do to help us make big decisions? One of us, Alex, is a data scientist at Facebook. The other, Seth, is a former data scientist at Google. There is a special sauce necessary to making big data work: surveys and the judgment of humans — two seemingly old-fashioned approaches that we will call small data....For one thing, many teams ended up going overboard on data. It was easy to measure offense and pitching, so some organizations ended up underestimating the importance of defense, which is harder to measure. In fact, in his book “The Signal and the Noise,” Nate Silver of fivethirtyeight.com estimates that the Oakland A’s were giving up 8 to 10 wins per year in the mid-1990s because of their lousy defense.

And data-driven teams found out the hard way that scouts were actually important...We are optimists about the potential of data to improve human lives. But the world is incredibly complicated. No one data set, no matter how big, is going to tell us exactly what we need. The new mountains of blunt data sets make human creativity, judgment, intuition and expertise more valuable, not less.

==============================================
From Market Research: Safety Not Always in Numbers | Qualtrics ☑
Author: Qualtrics|July 28, 2010

Albert Einstein once said, “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” [Warning of the danger of overquantification) Although many market research experts would say that quantitative research is the safest bet when one has limited resources, it can be dangerous to assume that it is always the best option.
human_ingenuity  data  analytics  small_data  massive_data_sets  data_driven  information_overload  dark_data  measurements  creativity  judgment  intuition  Nate_Silver  expertise  datasets  information_gaps  unknowns  underestimation  infoliteracy  overlooked_opportunities  sense-making  easy-to-measure  Albert_Einstein  special_sauce  metrics  overlooked  defensive_tactics  emotional_intelligence  EQ  soft_skills  overquantification  false_confidence 
may 2015 by jerryking
More Reflection, Less Action
February 14, 2014 |NYT | By TONY SCHWARTZ.

Observation from President Obama, caught on an open mike during a stroll with Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain in 2008:

“The most important thing you need to do [in this job] is to have big chunks of time during the day when all you’re doing is thinking.”

Judgment is grounded in discernment, subtlety and nuance.... Good judgment grows out of reflection, and reflection requires the sort of quiet time that gets crowded out by the next demand.

Regular reflection also provides the space in which to decide what not to do. At the companies I visit, no topic comes up more frequently than prioritizing....Time to reflect is what makes it possible to prioritize.... a tools that ensures reflection and prioritization is an old-fashioned handwritten to-do list, with a twist. Download everything that’s on your mind – not just calls to make and emails to send, but also ideas you want to explore, conflicts you haven’t resolved, and longer-term projects you intend to pursue...If you can’t decide whether something is worth your time, I try to stop and answer two reflective questions – a task that ends up saving rather than costing time.

1. Could someone else do this just as well or better than I can? If so, I try to turn it over.

2. Is the time and energy I invest going to produce anything I’ll still consider worth having done a month from now?

We need less conventional wisdom and more genuine wisdom; less sheer output and more insights that add enduring value.
time-management  reflections  wisdom  work_life_balance  insights  priorities  lists  GTD  judgment  strategic_thinking  Obama  David_Cameron  thinking  timeouts  meditation  contemplation  discernment  subtlety  personal_energy  slack_time  monotasking  sustained_inquiry  Tony_Schwartz  nuanced 
february 2014 by jerryking
Making Sense of Ambiguous Evidence
September 2008 | HBR | A Conversation with Documentary Filmmaker Errol Morris.

The information that top managers receive is rarely unfiltered. Unpopular opinions are censored. Partisan views are veiled as objective arguments. Honest mistakes are made. The manager is then left to sort it all out and come to a wise conclusion.

Few people know how to get an accurate read on a situation like documentarian Errol Morris. He is the award-winning director of such films as The Thin Blue Line and this year’s Standard Operating Procedure, an exploration of the elusive truth behind the infamous photographs taken at Abu Ghraib prison. The Guardian has ranked him among the world’s top 10 directors, crediting him with “a forensic mind” and “a painter’s eye.”

In this article, Morris talks with HBR’s Lisa Burrell about how he sorts through ambiguous evidence and contradictory views to arrive at the real story. “I don’t believe in the postmodern notion that there are different kinds of truth,” he says. “There is one objective reality, period.” Getting to it requires keeping your mind open to all kinds of evidence—not just the parts that fit with your first impressions or developing opinions—and, often, far more investigation than one would think.

If finding the truth is a matter of perseverance, convincing people of it is something of an art, one with which Morris has had much experience not only as a documentarian but also as a highly sought-after director of TV ads for companies like Apple, Citibank, Adidas, and Toyota. He holds up John Kerry’s 2004 bid for the U.S. presidency as a cautionary tale: Kerry struck voters as inauthentic when he emphasized only his military service and failed to account for his subsequent war protest. Morris would have liked to interview him speaking in his own words—natural, unscripted material—so that his humanity, which seemed to get lost in the campaign, could emerge.
anecdotal  HBR  executive_management  CEOs  contradictions  information  information_flows  evidence_based  objective_reality  information_gaps  authenticity  sense-making  ambiguities  uncertainty  persuasion  forensics  postmodern  filmmakers  documentaries  judgment  cautionary_tales 
august 2012 by jerryking
The Rhino Principle
01.30.06 | Forbes.com | Paul Johnson
We can choose to lead quiet lives and get through them without achieving much. But if we want to do the big thing, if we hope to leave a record that will be admired and remembered, we must learn to distinguish between the peripheral and the essential. Then, having clearly established our central objective, we must charge at it again and again until the goal is achieved.

That is what the rhinoceros does. It may not be a model animal in most ways. But it does one thing very well. And that one thing we can learn: Charge!
historians  gtd  indispensable  worthiness  signals  noise  discernment  judgment  thinking_big 
june 2012 by jerryking
Consumer banking: Counter revolution
May 19th 2012 | | The Economist | Anonymous

the growth of internet usage on smartphones, the rise of “big data” computer processing and the increasing willingness of customers to do complicated things online. These developments have long promised to transform the way banks do business and organise themselves....If this was just a more convenient way of paying, the banks would probably shrug. But it also promises to overturn your existing financial relationships. Instead of reaching for the first card that happens to be in your wallet to pay for a $2 cup of coffee (and risk being charged a $35 penalty by your bank for exceeding your overdraft limit), your phone will choose the best method of payment.
banking  disruption  massive_data_sets  Google  judgment  Paypal  Square  smartphones  data_mining  immigrants  migrants  remittances  mobile_phones 
may 2012 by jerryking
How to Build Your Network
December 2005 | HBR | Brian Uzzi and Shannon Dunlap.

Strong personal networks don't just happen at the watercooler. They have to be carefully constructed.Networks offer three unique advantages: private information, access to different skills and power. Leaders see the benefits of working every day, but perhaps not pause to examine how their networks are governed....Here's how to strengthen your connections.

Paul Revere was an information broker, a person who occupies a key role in a social network by connecting disparate groups of people....Networks determine which ideas become breakthroughs, which new drugs are prescribed, which farmers cultivate pest-resistant crops, and which R&D engineers makes the most high impact discoveries....When we make judgments, we use both public and private information. These days, public information is readily available from various sources, including the Internet, but precisely because it is so accessible, public information provides a competitive advantage much less than usual. Privacy, however, gathered from personal contacts that can offer something unique that can not be found in public spaces such as the release of a new product, the novel software code, or knowledge of this what a particular investigator seeks in candidates. Private information, therefore, may provide an advantage for executives, but is more subjective than public information, because it usually is not marked by an independent third party, such as Dun & Bradstreet. Therefore, the value of your private information to others and the value of your private information depends on how much confidence exists in the network of relationships....the best way to have a good idea is to have a lot of ideas....And when you trade information or skills with people whose experiences differ from your own, you provide one another with unique, exceptionally valuable resources....Power was repositioned in the network's information brokers, who could adapt to changes in the organization, develop clients, and synthesize opposing points of view.
These brokers weren't necessarily at the top of the hierarchy or experts in the field, but they linked specialists in the firm with trustworthy and informative ties.
networking  social_networking  social_capital  HBR  howto  networks  nonpublic  confidence  slight_edge  proprietary  relationships  exclusivity  public_information  private_information  inequality_of_information  homogeneity  heterogeneity  dual-consciousness  power_brokers  network_power  personal_chemistry  personal_connections  judgment  prolificacy  subjectivity  information_brokers  intentionality 
march 2012 by jerryking
Seth's Blog: The Scarcity Shortage
Aug. 27, 2007 | Seth Godin.

Scarcity has a lot to do with value. Scarcity is the cornerstone of our economy. The best way to make a profit is by trading in something that's scarce.

How to deal with the shortage of scarcity? Well, the worst strategy is whining--about copyright laws/fair trade/how hard you've worked. etc. Start by acknowledging that most of the profit from your business is going to disappear soon. Unless you have a significant cost adv. (e.g. Amazon's or Wal-Mart's), someone with nothing to lose is going to offer a similar product for less $.....So what's scarce now? Respect. Honesty. Good judgment. L.T. relationships that lead to trust. None of these things guarantee loyalty in the face of cut-rate competition, though. So I'll add: an insanely low-cost structure based on outsourcing everything except your company's insight into what your customers really want to buy. If the work is boring, let someone else do it, faster & cheaper than you ever could. If your products are boring, kill them before your competition does. Ultimately,
what's scarce is that kind of courage--which is exactly what you can
bring to the market.
scarcity  Seth_Godin  customer_loyalty  respect  judgment  honesty  whining  trustworthiness  inspiration  entrepreneurship  proprietary  cost-structure  relationships  kill_rates  courage  customer_insights  insights  competitive_advantage  low-cost 
october 2010 by jerryking
Managing the Future Workplace? Start Here. - WSJ.com
SEPT. 19, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | By ALAN MURRAY. How
should managers behave in this new economic order? Key trends include:
trust in business being at an all time low; continued govt. involvement
in the economy; credit remaining hard to come by; U.S. consumers
sitting on their wallets; Asia will likely continue to rise, and
technological change will likely continue to accelerate. Stay flexible.
Devour data. Be (somewhat) humble. Communicate. Plan for contingencies.
Be proactive. Insist on candor. Stay involved. Keep your organization
flat. Cross-train your talent.Assess your team.Use your judgment.
managing_uncertainty  workplaces  Alan_Murray  technological_change  future  organizational_culture  flexibility  resilience  contingency_planning  cross-training  data  data_driven  proactivity  humility  candour  Asia  credit  consumer_spending  judgment  teams  accelerated_lifecycles  trends  trustworthiness 
september 2010 by jerryking
When you're drowning in knowledge, it's experience that counts
Aug. 20, 2009 | Globe & Mail | by Dan Richards. The key
to success today is no longer knowledge and information alone; more than
ever it's the discipline, experience, perspective and insight to know
what to do with that information, something that only comes from the
battle scars earned working through multiple market cycles....The bottom line is simple: If knowledge alone drives success, then years of experience may be less critical than intellect and analytical prowess. But in a time of market uncertainty such as we see today, intellect and knowledge alone aren't enough. Financial advisers and money managers also need the acumen that only years of hard-won experience can bring.
business_acumen  commoditization_of_information  Dan_Richards  discernment  experience  financial_advisors  information_overload  insights  investment_advice  money_management  pattern_recognition  uncertainty  wisdom  self-discipline  judgment  perspectives 
august 2009 by jerryking
Cadman's choice
May 21, 2005 | The Globe and Mail pg. A.18| Miriam Simpson. In
his 1774 speech to the electors of Bristol, Burke said: "Your
representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he
betrays instead of serving you if he sacrifices it to your opinion."
letters_to_the_editor  conservatism  Edmund_Burke  quotes  politicians  judgment  opinions  representation 
may 2009 by jerryking
Judgment Trumps Experience - WSJ.com
NOVEMBER 29, 2007 | Wall Street Journal | By WARREN BENNIS and NOEL TICHY.

judgment is the core, the nucleus of exemplary leadership. With good judgment, little else matters. Without it, nothing else matters........Leadership is, at its marrow, the chronicle of judgment calls. These will inevitably write the leader's legacy.....not discounting the importance of experience. Seminal and appropriate experiences must be drawn on and understood before judgments can be informed. But experience is no guarantee of good judgment. There is a huge difference between 20 yrs. of experience that advances one's learning and one year of experience repeated 20 times.........there are numerous times when past experiences can prevent wise judgments. Barbara Tuchman long ago observed how generals tend to fight the last war, refusing to face new realities, almost always with disastrous consequences. And often, especially in today's dizzying world, we need to understand what Zen Buddhists call the "beginner's mind," which recognizes the value of fresh insight unfettered by experience. ........Judgment isn't quite an unnatural act, but it also doesn't come naturally. And speaking from decades of experience, we're not sure how to teach it. (We know it can be learned.) Wisely processed experience, reflection, valid sources of timely information, an openness to the unbidden and character are critical components of judgment as well. As David McCullough reminds us over and over again, "Character counts in the presidency more than any other single quality."
Barbara_Tuchman  character_traits  experience  fresh_eyes  Hillary_Clinton  judgment  leaders  leadership  Obama  Noel_Tichy  Warren_Bennis 
january 2009 by jerryking

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