On the Mixed Scanning Model for Strategic Thinking

On the Mixed Scanning Model for Strategic Thinking

Posted on:Apr 16 2008
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Adopted by Physicians

They know what they want to achieve and which parts of the organism to focus on…unlike rationalists they do not commit all their resources on the basis of preliminary diagnosis; they do not wait for every conceivable scrap of personal history and the scientific data before initializing treatment. Doctors survey the general health of the patient and then zero in on his or her particular complaint. They initiate tentative treatment, and if it fails, they try something else.

  1. Focused trial and error-adapting to partial knowledge…knowing where to start the search for an effective intervention and choking outcomes at intervals to adjust and modify the intervention…differs from outright trial and error, which assumes no knowledge at all…feeling one’s way to an effective course of action despite the lack of essential chunks of data…and adaptive, not a rationalistic, strategy.
  2. Tentativeness…a commitment to revise one’s course as necessary…physicians telling patient to try medicine for x number of days and then check in…change directions on the basis of results…humility in the face of reality (Welch changing course as the facts change…stop or start and activity).
  3. Procrastination…delay permits the collection of fresh evidence, the processing of additional data, and the presentation of new options…it can also give the problem a chance to recede untreated.
  4. Decision staggering-form of delay…Federal Reserve adjusting the rate a half a point at a time.
  5. Fractionalizing…treats important judgments as a series of subdecisions…Staggering and fractionalizing allow the company to relate turning points in the decision process to turning points in the supply of information.
  6. Hedging bets…diversified portfolio.
  7. Maintaining strategic reserves-another form of hedging bets…reserves to cover unanticipated costs to respond to unforeseen opportunities.
  8. Reversible decisions…avoiding  overcommitment when only the partial information is available.

Bibliography: Tichy, N. M., Bennis, W.G., Judgment, How Winning Leaders Make Great Calls. The Penguin Group, New York, 2007.

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