Drinking the Kool-Aid

We are willingly investing money and capacity into strategies that are constructed on the basis of a false interpretation of reality.

Drinking the Kool-Aid

Remember in the movie Die Hard 2 (one of the greatest movies of all time) when the terrorists recalibrated sea level on the IOS Electronic Landing System, used by the pilots to accurately position the plane when on their final approach to the runway?

By hacking into the system and falsifying the readings, pilots thought they had more altitude on approach than they did in reality.

The result was painfully disastrous, but a key plot builder in the movie.

What you believe to be true affects the decisions you make about the future.

How you arrive at what you believe to be true can then either start you off on a great path towards the future you want - or you could be unknowingly going a direction that you had never intended to follow.

You can either blindly carry on assuming that what you believe to be true is true - or you could actively try to disprove what you believe to be true, in order to improve the accuracy of the truth that you do end up believing.

But how often do we critically question our assumptions about what is true?

At this time of the year, many of us are making key strategic decisions on data, information, evidence, assumptions which may indeed turn out to be total nonsense.

We are willingly investing money and capacity into strategies that are constructed on the basis of a false interpretation of reality.  

This practice usually goes unchallenged  - a situation which is also referred to as 'Drinking the Kool Aid'.

The solution

The solution to the problem is simple - stop lying to yourself.

Be honest with the reality that you are facing - quit buying into the bullshit.

It's easy to turn a strategy session into some kind of team building exercise, full of rah-rah and chest beating and wishful numbers and goals that have no connection to the reality that you are facing.

Strategy is however not about making you feel good about yourself  or marvelling as to how clever the CEO is - it's about making realistic plans and better decision-making that delivers an intended outcome.

As hard as it is (because people absolutely hate to admit that they may be wrong) the holy grail here is to face facts, challenge your own beliefs, actively seek an alternative perspective - this is how you improve the performance of your strategic efforts.