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Does your strategy answer the right questions – or the easy ones? ▪ Peter Thiel on asking questions ▪ Stress test your strategy for 20% off
Easy questions are one of the greatest threats to strategy. When faced with a hard question, we often find a different, easier question to answer – usually without noticing that’s what we’ve done.
In Thinking, Fast and Slow, the psychologist Daniel Kahneman calls this “substitution.”
Substitution isn’t necessarily bad. Our minds constantly provide us with intuitive assessments of our environment, and our intuitions are an important part of our judgment. In ordinary matters, the effort to answer the harder question doesn’t leave us any better off.
If you’re on a hike, and you spot a bear in the distance, it’s not necessary to get closer to determine whether this particular bear is likely to be dangerous. The easy question – Should I avoid bears? – is the right question.
Nevertheless, substituting a simple question for a more complex one always involves leaving out some facts and considerations, and this is where trouble can start.
In these 5-minute episodes of The Successful Strategist, I discuss why we're often blind to the threat of easy questions – and blind to our blindness – and what to do about it.
The Threat of Easy Questions (S3:E5)
Real Strategy Development (S1:E16)
The Ten-fold Question (S2:E12)
Give Me Options (S2:E23)
Peter Thiel on asking questions
If you don’t have good answers to the questions every business must answer, you will run into lots of “bad luck,” and your organization will fail.
Stress Test Your Strategy Before Going All-In
Most organizations find it difficult to ask hard questions about their strategy. It’s no suprise that across industries and sectors, fewer than 15 percent of organizations achieve what they hoped their strategic plans would allow them to do. Half of organziations actually damage themselves trying to implement their plans.
My Strategy Audit provides a prompt, independent, practical, and affordable evaluation of your strategic plan.
The first five organizations that sign up for a Strategy Audit before August 31 will receive a 20% discount.
Email me at email@example.com for more information.
Those who are invested in a strategic plan are not in a good position to evaluate it. Confirmation bias and a reluctance to question sunk costs leave a large majority of executives unaware of flaws or unwilling to express doubts.
A Strategy Audit will allow your organization – for-profit or non-profit – to candidly discuss and rapidly improve your strategic plan, vastly reducing your risk of wasted resources, internal conflict, damage to relationships with investors or donors, and unsustainable service to customers or beneficiaries.