Essential matters and their reality
Foresight and Predictions
Foresight is good but does not mean its safe from harm but predictions
are outright dangerous.
For some reason we do not apply the same logic to fragility risk all the times.
Whilst we never would board a plane without a pilot, we accept to take forecasts
which lead us to take risk, without them having exposure.
Some help from Seneca from the shortness of life
“For a man who is occupied with many things often puts himself into the power
of Fortune, whereas the safest policy is rarely to tempt her, though to keep her
always in mind and to trust her in nothing.
"Thus: I shall sail unless something happens; and I shall become praetor unless
something prevents me; and my business will be successful unless something
interferes. That is why we say that nothing happens to the wise man against
And some help from Taleb
"I’ve called it the Black Swan problem — the impossibility of calculating the risks of consequential rare events and predicting their occurrence."
Luck (& timing)
Luck is not to be expected but most likely the largest contributor to success, yet never recognised for it. So is timing in many ventures, if you are to early you bleed to death before your idea takes off and if you are too late, well you are too late. Hence timing is included in the luck section as for the right timing needs a good portion of luck.
Success = Talent and Skill + Luck & Timing
Great Success = a bit more Talent and Skill + a lot of Luck & very good Timing
The fact that many important events that did occur involve choices further tempts us to exaggerate the role of skill and underestimate the part that luck played in the outcome. Almost every critical decision that turned out well, the record suggests almost flawless prescience.
There is more about the component of luck in my Thoughts section.
Some help from Seneca from the shortness of life
“But, as I said, it is easier to bear and simpler not to acquire than to lose, so you will notice that those people are more cheerful whom Fortune has never favoured than those whom she has deserted.”
The Power of Habits
Possible 80% of our day passes based on habitual behaviour without us realising it when it happens. Habits can be changed by changing the routine.
No help from Seneca from the shortness of life
“Inborn dispositions do not respond well to compulsion , and we labour in vain against nature’s opposition."
Overrated and not equal to Knowledge. In times where one can “google” or “bing” almost anything already discovered or written about, one has to question the value of Education beyond the basics which could be called the “Learning Enablement Level”.
At the end one only gets taught what any particular school or University wants you to be taught. Only autodidacts are truly free to pursue broad knowledge.
Some insights from Ken Robinson.
The opposite of Fragility is not Robustness but Antifragility. In my opinion its one of the most important positions everything should be in no matter if human, a thing, an organisation or a system.
In a fragile company or business you solely depend on everything going according to plan since every little deviation is usually more harmful than helpful, hence the fragile needs to be very predictive in its approach but yet that makes it weak.
Some help from Taleb, the author of Antifragility (besides other things)
"Antifragility is beyond resilience or robustness. The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the antifragile gets better".
"Antifragility has a singular property of allowing us to deal with the unknown, to do things without understanding them—and do them well. Let me be more aggressive: we are largely better at doing than we are at thinking, thanks to antifragility. I’d rather be dumb and antifragile than extremely smart and fragile, any time."
Culture is something we would refer to in history or nowadays refer to as the ideas, customs, and social behaviour of a particular people or society, developed over time.
But as far as company or subgroup culture is concerned it's something by design. It's not something that should unfold by accident, to the contrary it should only reflect the desired behaviours and actions clearly and visibly – our chosen culture and conduct.
A companies culture is created by its founders and early leaders and people do join a particular company with a particular culture voluntarily because they like to be in that environment and become part of it and carry it forward. If they don’t like it they will leave, or better should.
WYSIATI - What you see is all there is (Daniel Kahneman)
The human brain works in certain ways and tends to play a couple of tricks on us we might not be able to prevent but need to be aware of. Daniel Kahneman has expressed that very well in his book “Thinking fast and slow”
Our associative memory quickly and automatically constructs the best possible story from the information available.
Our mind always seeks causal explanation and does not deal well with mere statistics. When our attention is called to an event, associative memory will look for it's cause and, more precisely, will spread to any cause already stored in our memory.
We are always ready to interpret behaviour as a manifestation of tendencies and personal traits. Causes that you can readily match to effects.
A so called Halo Effect which contributes to coherence, because it inclines us to match our view of all the qualities of a person to match our judgment of one attribute that is particularly significant. If we think a tennis player is particularly handsome and athletic, for example, we are likely to rate him a high performer too. The same applies to the opposite.
The Halo Effect can be defined as the tendency to use global evaluations to make judgments about specific traits.
Skin the game
One of the key differentiators between entrepreneurs and employees is the level of exposure to uncertainties and risk movements in both ways. When people are having something to loose, they have skin in the game.
Typically, the employee or manager in an organization who has an opinion and a say, but not necessarily exposure to a downside if it goes wrong, has rarely skin in the game. Where there is absence of a penalty, and I’m not talking about an unpleasant appraisal meeting, there is no skin in the game. Stock options are not “skin” either as they haven’t been paid for and often represent a given incentive, haven’t materialised at that point, hence have no value, hence cannot represent a loss.
Opportunity is not what you seek, opportunity finds you but the trick is to see it when it pays you a visit.