Archives For harvard business review

“The problem with smart people is that they are used to seeking and finding the right answer; unfortunately, in strategy there is no single right answer to find. Strategy requires making choices about an uncertain future. It is not possible, no matter how much of the ocean you boil, to discover the one right answer. There isn’t one. In fact, even after the fact, there is no way to determine that one’s strategy choice was “right,” because there is no way to judge the relative quality of any path against all the paths not actually chosen. There are no double-blind experiments in strategy.

To be a great strategist, we have to step back from the need to find a right answer and to get accolades for identifying it. The best strategists aren’t intimidated or paralyzed by uncertainty and ambiguity; they are creative enough to imagine possibilities that may or may not actually exist and are willing to try a course of action knowing full well that it will have to be tweaked or even overhauled entirely as events unfold.”

Why Smart People Struggle with Strategy, Harvard Business Review


“…with every big data set, we need to ask which people are excluded. Which places are less visible? What happens if you live in the shadow of big data sets?”

“…technologies are always differentially adopted, and “any divide in accessing digital technology is not a one-time event but a constantly moving target as new devices, software and cultural practices emerge…”

“In the near term, data scientists should take a page from social scientists, who have a long history of asking where the data they’re working with comes from, what methods were used to gather and analyze it, and what cognitive biases they might bring to its interpretation (for more, see “Raw Data is an Oxymoron“). Longer term, we must ask how we can bring together big data approaches with small data studies — computational social science with traditional qualitative methods…”

“We get a much richer sense of the world when we ask people the why and the how not just the “how many”…

-The Hidden Biases in Big Data, Harvard Business Review