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How the Very Best Strategists Decide

Outperforming the crowd

If you want to outperform the crowd, learn the following two essential skills.

  • Generate ideas by broadening your decision frame.
  • You must be able to distinguish between good and bad loner strategies. It is best done by embracing critical thinking.

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How the Very Best Strategists Decide

How the Very Best Strategists Decide

https://hbr.org/2016/10/how-the-very-best-strategists-decide

hbr.org

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Key Ideas

Two strategies

When it comes to setting strategy, there are benefits to both popular and loner strategies.

  • Popular strategies are those that are identified by the crowds. The more people that choose a strategy, the better the strategy performs.
  • Loner strategies are those that are identified by only one person. If you want to outperform the crowd, you've got to do something the group isn't doing.

Broadening the Frame

When we need to make a decision, we tend to ask "What should we do?" However, it narrows our thinking to one right decision.

If we ask the question: "What could we do?"  it broadens our decision-making frame, because we can consider multiple futures. Could ask what if, what else, and why not.

For example: Ask what would be the equivalent in your industry of something that’s working well in another.

Embracing Critical Thinking

Strategy development and internal reviews often center on precedents, trends, and due diligence. They address"what will happen."  Change the question to "what may happen" :

  • Role-play other parties.
  • Listen to assumptions in the way a strategy is supposed to work.
  • Watch out for confirmation bias, overconfidence, survivor bias, and groupthink.
  • Forecast your competitors' results.
  • Beware of missing pieces in the tools you use.

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