How to Find Answers to Your Business Questions, Every Time

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So, how do you find answers to your business questions? Easy. Make mistakes. Lots of 'em. Says CEO of Decision Strategies International, Paul J.H. Schoemaker, and the research director for the Mack Center for Technological Innovation at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School in Philadelphia, Robert E. Gunther:
Sometimes, committing errors is not just the fastest way to the correct answer, it's the only way. When college students were allowed to test as many sets of three numbers as they wished, fewer than 10% discovered the pattern. The vast majority became locked into a narrow hypothesis and tested only combinations of numbers that would confirm it. Whenever you have few data points, the chances are low that you'll be correct in your first guess about how they fit together. The fastest way to find the pattern is to try many disconfirming tests.
It's rare you could plan for a right answer. The key, then, is to make enough mistakes so that they'll guide you to the right answer.

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Posted on June 03

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