Skip the Predictions, Look for These Signs
It’s that time of year again: Experts of all kinds are coming out of the woodwork to offer up forecasts and predictions for the year ahead. It can be amusing, but this is not the most productive way to think about the future.
Perhaps you’re familiar with Philip Tetlock’s landmark 2005 UC Berkeley study that looked at 82,000 predictions over 25 years by 300 leading economists. It turned out that expert views were no better than random guesses, and worse, the more famous or eminent, the less accurate the prediction.
So rather than latch onto someone’s static extrapolation or wild guess, I have a better idea: In the spirit of scenario thinking, we should instead look for ways to read the unfolding signs of the times with a fresh nimbleness of mind and receptivity to action.