I’ve been learning a lot from Danny Kahneman’s great book Thinking Fast and Slow. Kahneman is the world’s leading expert on human judgment and decision-making and the only non-economist to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics (he’s a psychologist by training), so his insights and conclusions should be taken seriously. In Thinking Fast and Slow he collects them and explains them to the non-specialist. Read it and you won’t look at the world the same way again. And you and the world will both be better off for it.
In particular, we’ll all be better off if we stop placing so much weight on the intuitive judgments of ‘experts’ — those who have risen to the top of their professions or hierarchies due, typically, to some combination of education, experience, tenure, previous success, and moxie. The business world, of course, is full of experts. We have financial analysts, product planners, business unit managers who hire people and assemble teams, marketing VPs, and an endless variety of consultants, pundits, and gurus.
And their ‘expert’ (read: intuitive) judgments – about whether a stock will rise, how a new ad campaign will go over, how a competitive battle will play out, which products will succeed in the marketplace, whom to hire and promote, and so on – should be received with great scepticism. In fact, they usually shouldn’t be received at all.
Read the rest of the story at Harvard Business Review >
This post originally appeared at Harvard Business Review.
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