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Skip the Forecasts and Build Change Adaptive Organizations

...leadership danger is building strategic plans and budgets around forecasts. But many organizational leaders are as addicted to forecasts as the Commanding General who said he was aware that long term weather forecasts were totally useless but “I need them for planning purposes.” Expert forecasts have increased as our need...

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Beware the Prediction Affliction: Don’t Get Sucked In by Forecasts and Projections

...Believe Them Anyway, “‘The Commanding General is well aware the forecasts are no good. However, he needs them for planning purposes.’ Kenneth Arrow, Nobel laureate economist, recalling the response he and colleagues received during the Second World War when they demonstrated that the military’s long-term weather forecasts were useless.” In...

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Thoughts That Make You Go Hmmm on…Prophecies, Predictions, and Forecasts

...Failing Us and How to Know When Not to Trust Them “You have been a world-class sap for years. Why? For listening to the economic and political forecasts of experts. We in the media have been irresponsible fools for reporting those forecasts. And the experts themselves? Delusional egomaniacs — and...

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‘Tis the Season of Prophecies, Forecasts, and Predictions

...concludes: “of these sixteen types of forecast, only two — one-day-ahead weather forecasts and the aging of the population — can be counted on; the rest are about as reliable as the fifty-fifty odds in flipping a coin. And only one of the sixteen — short-term weather forecasts — has...

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New Year Entertainment: Predictions, Forecasts, and Projections

...Pinker’s notes a long list of failed predictions and writes, “prognosticators are biased toward scaring people.” Technology is a major driving of change and is changing very unpredictably as we see in these forecasts: Lee DeForest, the “father of radio,” said in 1926 “While theoretically and technically television may be...

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Forget Forecasts and Predictions, Build an Agile Organization

A couple goes to a fair, where there’s a large, impressive-looking machine. The husband puts in a coin and receives a card telling him his age and what kind of person he is. He reads it and gets excited. It says: “You’re brilliant and charming. Women fall all over you.”...

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Don’t Believe Those “Expert” Forecasts

In times of uncertainty and upheaval like – we’re now experiencing – we turn to “experts” to tell us what’s going on and what we can expect. Don’t believe a word of what they are uttering. Numerous studies show that expert predictions are wrong. The great British Prime Minister Winston...

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Book Review of Future Babble: Why Expert Predictions Fail – and Why We Believe Them Anyway

...his examples could be more succinctly summarized, most are very entertaining and enlightening. Gardner illustrates the book’s core message around the dismal failure of expert predictions with examples of both overly rosy predictions and darkly apocalyptic forecasts missing the mark by miles. He’s especially effective at pillorying the many bestselling...

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Coming Attractions: How to Be a Fortune Teller

...setting useful. I suck at it. Most of the time frames on my projections, forecasts, and predictions are way off. I need a refund on my cloudy crystal ball. Given the flagrant failures of “expert” projections and forecasts I wrote about last week (https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/beware-prediction-affliction-dont-get-sucked-jim-clemmer/), I’ve found visioning to be much...

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Are You a Management Hedgehog or a Leadership Fox?

...after showing that the military’s long-term weather forecasts were useless; “The Commanding General is well aware the forecasts are no good. However, he needs them for planning purposes.” Management hedgehogs set strategic plans and budgets based on their forecast of the year(s) ahead, put their blinders on, and push relentlessly...

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What Lies Ahead?

...of Buying and Selling Predictions, prove that forecasters, economists, futurists, planners, and other such soothsayers are less accurate than flipping a coin. Of the sixteen different types of forecasts he analyzed over a twenty year period, only one-day-ahead weather forecasts and the aging of the population were accurate beyond pure...

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I Predict… More Unpredictability

...the second oldest profession). He concludes “of these sixteen types of forecast, only two – one-day-ahead weather forecasts and the aging of the population – can be counted on; the rest are about as reliable as the fifty-fifty odds in flipping a coin. And only one of the sixteen –...

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Get Prepared for 2013’s Unpredictable Changes and Chances

...way. Scholar surveys of American presidents since the 1940s consistently rank Lincoln in the top three and often in first place. Tomorrow we publish my December blogs compiled into January’s Leader Letter. The first two items focus on the folly of prophecies, predictions, and forecasts. As in Lincoln’s time, no...

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Thoughts That Make You Go Hmmm on…Hacking Our Pessimistic Neuro Programing

...about an imminent doomsday. Forecasts of End Times are a staple of psychics, mystics, televangelists, nut cults, founders of religions, and men pacing the sidewalk with sandwich boards saying ‘Repent!'” – Steven Pinker, Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress “The truth is that the good old...

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New Year’s Prediction Alert: It’s Silly Season Again!

...with their computer models, colored graphs, trends analysis, projections, and forecasts. Media producers and publishers of TV, radio, newspapers, books, magazines, blogs, and the like are especially enamored by media savvy predictors (the higher profile and credentialed the better) who confidentially provide succinct sound bites backed by numbers and "analysis."...

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Five Keys to Reverse Slipping Morale Levels

Many organizations are continuing to struggle with today’s economic challenges. But the most corrosive threat to long term organizational health and performance comes from within. With contradictory forecasts from pundits, politicians and other prognosticators, many people are highly stressed about their future. Even companies with strong action plans and solid...

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How to Avoid Being Blindsided by Change

In 2004, Bill Gates told a group at the World Economic Forum “two years from now, spam will be solved.” Right. Like cockroaches, spam could survive a nuclear holocaust. This is one in an incredibly long list of expert forecasts that are ludicrously wrong. In 1995 co-inventor of the Ethernet,...

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Thoughts That Make You Go Hmmmm on… Leading Through Uncertainty

My last few blog posts dealt with our predictable New Year’s “Silly Season” filled with useless forecasts and predictions. This multi-billion dollar industry is built around our deep insecurity about dealing with uncertainty. But life doesn’t come with any guarantees and nobody knows what triumphs or tragedies await us around...

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Research That Makes You Go Hmmm on…Forecasts and Predictions

...things?’ he said. ‘Forecasters are not witches. They don’t possess some mythical way of foreseeing the future.’ – “The Prophets of Profit,” Steven Theobald reporting on The Toronto Star’s analysis of 20 years of mostly inaccurate annual forecasts   Victor Zarnowitz, a professor at the University of Chicago and one...

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Goal Setting Can Limit Our Flexibility and Learning

...been less satisfying is because I’ve never been very good at it. Most of the time frames on my projections, forecasts, and predictions are wrong. I suppose I should ask for a refund on my cloudy crystal ball. But through persistence and staying true to my course, I’ve eventually reached...

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