Want to make better business predictions? Flawless Execution is the answer.


With Flawless Execution, anyone can make predictions like an “expert”

Philip Tetlock is a renowned figure when it comes to making predictions. Two decades ago, his groundbreaking study shattered the myth of pundits and experts possessing superior predictive abilities over the general public. Tetlock’s research revealed that experts were only marginally better at forecasting – a tough pill to swallow for those who value expert opinion.

However, there are a few individuals that are very good at predicting. Tetlock calls these people ‘superforecasters.’ They don’t always get it right, but they get it right more often than not and are able to sustain their predictive accuracy over a long period of time.

But when he and his co-author of Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction, Dan Gardner, write about prediction they mean something different than what we typically hear pundits talk about. The key differentiator lies in the approach. While traditional pundits often cloak their predictions in ambiguity, superforecasters thrive on well-defined queries that enable precise evaluation. So, you don’t ask a superforecasters if we will soon have flying cars. Instead, you might ask them, “What is the probability that the Ford Motor Company will announce a joint venture with Northrop Grumman in the next 6 months.” That’s a lot less sexy, but it’s measurable…and superforecasters can be scored and tracked for accuracy.

Tetlock’s work ties directly with concepts like Auftragstaktik (mission command) – which in our Flawless Execution® model we call the strategic corporal concept and leader’s intent. At its core, effective planning mirrors forecasting, underscoring the value of collaborative planning processes in fostering alignment and adaptability.

Flawless Execution practices for Superforecasting

How do you ‘superforecast?’ This book outlines “Ten Commandments” for better forecasting. Let’s look at a few of those that are most relevant for practitioners of Flawless Execution.

Strike the right balance between inside and outside views. Combine base-rate analysis (the ‘outside’ view) with situational nuances (the ‘inside’ view) to gain a comprehensive perspective. Red Teaming further enriches this process by providing unbiased evaluations. Red Teaming separates the team’s narrowed ‘inside’ view that comes from being too close and involved with a plan from the ‘outside’ view that looks at things from a detached perspective. The outside view provides a less-biased judgment of a plan by comparing it to similar plans and experiences.

Bring out the best in others and let others bring out the best in you. Superforecasters do best when they share information with other superforecasters although they come to different forecasts! This is a testament to the power of collaboration. Collaboration creates an overall better solution than any superforecaster can accomplish in isolation. In Flawless Execution, we call collaboration Teamstorming™. Teamstorming builds upon the best ideas to improve the overall plan or decision.

Master the error-balancing bicycles. Learning requires doing – even for superforecasters. To become a superforecaster you have to do it, fail, and then learn from your failures to become more proficient. It is the result of deliberate practice. Superforecasters, like practitioners of Flawless Execution, must stop and frequently debrief in order to improve.

Look for errors behind your mistakes but beware of rearview-mirror hindsight bias. Own your failures and conduct debriefs to discover where you went wrong. Learn from your mistakes. But, it’s critical to remember that what worked in the past doesn’t always work in the present or the future. Things change. That’s why lessons learned, the outputs of proper debriefing, are so important to updating and adapting standards and other best practices.

Use Superforecasting to Build Your Agile Team

By integrating superforecasting principles into your approach, you can enhance your team’s agility and decision-making prowess. For more insight and help on leveraging superforecasting for your team or organisation, reach out to our team today. Let’s navigate the future with precision and confidence together!