An effective decision making process needs two things. Reducing errors and gaining insights. What if you could find a way to gain more insights than most people.
Two cops were stuck in traffic. They were on a routine patrol. As they waited for the light to change, the younger cop glanced at the fancy new BMW in front of them. The driver took a long drag on his cigarette, took it out of his mouth and flicked the ashes onto the upholstery.
The younger cop couldn’t believe it. He exclaimed, “That’s a new car and he just ashed his cigarette in that car. Who would ash his cigarette in a brand new car? Not the owner of the car. Not a friend who borrowed the car. Possibly a guy who had just stolen the car.”
Upon quizzing the driver, it did turn out to be a stolen car. The cop noticed something which wasn’t obvious to others. He had a brilliant Insight.
The example comes from the book Seeing What Others Don’t by Gary Klein, a renowned cognitive psychologist.
Charlie Munger, the inimitable partner of Warren Buffett, likes to quote,
A lot of success in life and success in business comes from knowing what you really want to avoid.” He favours the attitude where one is consistently trying to avoid stupidity instead of running after brilliance.
On other hand, the key to success, according to Munger, is “Work, work, work and hope to have a few insights.”
What I infer from above two statements is that, in life and in business, reducing errors is good strategy but one shouldn’t forget about generating new insights too. The following illustration from the book captures the idea very well.
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