10 Clues to Opportunity

Managers and entrepreneurs walk past lucrative opportunities all the time, and later kick themselves when someone else exploits the strategy they overlooked.  Why does this happen? It’s often because of the natural human tendency known to psychologists as confirmation bias:  People tend to notice data that confirms their existing attitudes and beliefs, and ignore or discredit information that challenges them. Although it is difficult to overcome confirmation bias, it isn’t impossible, as London Business School professor Donald Sull explains in “10 Clues to Opportunity,” in the Autumn 2011 Strategy+Business. Managers can increase their skill at spotting hidden opportunities by learning to pay attention to the subtle clues all around them.  These are often contradictions, incongruities, and anomalies that don’t jibe...

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