Predicting the Future | Strategy News

Predicting the Future




Predicting the Future

Predicting the Future

Predicting the Future



Key points in article “Should Managers Bother Listening to Predictions?”

  • There is a healthy skepticism when it comes to the reliability of forecasts as a foundation for planning.
  • Many maintain that planning without prediction is impossible.
  • Managers base plans on forecasts. It forces them to be disciplined
  • A plan is a prediction
  • People should never be slaves to a plan or prediction and need to question how competencies can be produced to handle changes in predictions
  • Before relying on a prediction, it’s sensible to understand what data and assumptions went into the process, and to understand how vulnerable the conclusions are to changes
  • A plan naturally is a prediction
  • Everyone should be evaluating trends and making predictions they use to direct planning
  • Nate Silver, author of The Signal and the Noise: Why Most Predictions Fail but Some Don’t, argues that techniques for more accurate predictions are forthcoming
  • Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable, essentially believes that the most significant things are not foreseeable, why then obsess regarding predictions.
  • Predictions fail because they too often are based on the wrong things, referred to as “noise” instead of the “signal” inlayed in the noise.
  • Businesses have searched for alternatives to address our inability to predict. For example, scenario planning was created. Rather than make one plan, scenario planning generates at least three plans, one based on “best case,” one based on “worst case,” and one symbolizing “best guess.” One could claim that the process itself includes a degree of humility built into it.
Should Managers Bother Listening to Predictions? – HBS Working KnowledgeSumming Up Should we use predictions at all when planning for the future? Jim Heskett ‘s readers offer a variety of opinions. What do YOU think?

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