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shutterstock_344266400Nice piece in the latest McKinsey Quarterly.

“. . . take your gut feeling as an important data point, but then you have to consciously and deliberately evaluate it, to see if it makes sense.”

“. . . premortem is a sneaky way to get people to do contrarian, devil’s advocate thinking without encountering resistance. If a project goes poorly, there will be a lessons-learned session that looks at what went wrong and why the project failed—like a medical postmortem. Why don’t we do that up front?”

“. . . ask about the quality and independence of information. Is it coming from multiple sources or just one source that’s being regurgitated in different ways? Is there a possibility of group-think? Does the leader have an opinion that seems to be influencing others? I would ask where every number comes from . . .”

. . . decorrelate errors of judgment. . . There’s a classic experiment where you ask people to estimate how many coins there are in a transparent jar. When people do that independently, the accuracy of the judgment rises with the number of estimates, when they are averaged. But if people hear each other make estimates, the first one influences the second, which influences the third, and so on.”

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