Lucky or Smart

Lucky or Smart: Did Your Strategy Win or Did Their Strategy Lose?

A webinar for Harvard Business School, Wednesday, March 19, 2014, 12:00 – 1:00 (EST)

Mark Chussil, MBA 1979, Founder and CEO of Advanced Competitive Strategies, Inc. and Author of Nice Start, Questions Only You Can Answer to Create the Life Only You Can Live

“Don’t gamble; take all your savings and buy some good stock and hold it till it goes up, then sell it. If it don’t go up, don’t buy it.”
— Will Rogers

In business we obey something like the Will Rogers rule. We judge a strategy by comparing its actual results to the results we expected: results below expectations, bad strategy; results above expectations, good strategy.

Judging that way assumes that we control our results and that we set reasonable expectations. Of course we know those assumptions are heroic, but we haven’t had great alternatives. We do the best we can but we don’t know, when we judge a strategy, if those responsible were (un)lucky or (not) smart.

It makes a difference. If we judge incorrectly we may fire a strategist who’s not at fault. We may emulate a strategist who just got lucky. And not even experience helps us, because experience is the accumulation of judgments.

In this thought-provoking webinar we will discuss:

  • A real-life case of challenging the in-control and reasonable-expectations assumptions
  • The quality of a decision versus the happiness of an outcome
  • How conventional strategy development systematically biases expectations upward
  • Startling results from a “tournament” to which over 500 people have contributed strategies

For more information about this webinar, please contact ACS.

The Harvard Business School webinar site is here. As of December 19, 2013, the 2014 programs don’t appear on it yet.