Reality Straight Up

When everything is on the line, what can we really know?

Some of what we think that we know is fine, but some of it is not. Here’s the rub: we don’t know which is which! To make matters worse, our natural tendency is to look for reasons to hold on to our ideas and ignore things that challenge what we think. Quite often we only discover that the world is not as we thought it was when it’s too late.

Ultimately success rests not on our opinions but on the answers to questions about which our opinions don’t matter. This hard fact cuts even deeper in chaotic times like ours. Market trends, client preferences, available product lines, strategies of competitors, the dynamics of social media; the list goes on. All of these shift from year to year and sometimes from week to week. Companies adapt or die.

High stakes decisions can come at you fast and they are seldom convenient. Those are bad times to discover that something you thought of as reliable knowledge was really nothing but a W.A.G., a wild-ass guess. Four out of five business failures are ultimate failures of knowledge. The road to failure is paved with WAGs.

In this lively presentation Dr. Hester cuts to the chase by turning our everyday notion of “knowledge” on its head. Drawing on his own experience in the crosshairs, he shows what it takes to get past comfortable assumptions, groupthink, snake oil and wishful thinking to face reality on its own terms.