216. Man Plans, God Laughs*. But, Still Bet Smarter

2020 Plans Blasted by C19

The Pandemic has hit most 2020 business plans severely. Action CEOs have:

  1. Raced to stop the bleeding while complying with C19 guidelines.
  2. Then, moved to remedial surgery. “Downsize, Upgrade..[1]
  3. Maintained a can-do spirit while looking for new, pandemic-created needs to solve (profitably?) amongst both customers and suppliers.
  4. Made many decisions hoping for best payoffs.

Boost Probabilistic-Thinking for Better Payoffs?

Although:  we talk “data-driven decisions” with “business intelligence/analytics”. We know the economy is a complex system with more causal variables than we can understand. And, we know customers are irrationally variable and not all equally net-profitable. How do we make decisions?  

Research reveals that: we are wired to take action (resource bets) with instant, golden-gut, hunches. “Customers will like this”.  Really? All types? Equally well? What about the few, most, net-profitable ones?

If our decisions work, we are smart. We ignore the good fortune that lifted all other competitor boats too. If our bets fizzle, we are still smart. Someone else or bad luck is to blame.  

But, if asked to – bet serious money (giving odds) on getting a good outcome from our gut decisions – we waver. We don’t naturally think in terms of ranges of outcomes with attached probabilities.

Simple Steps to Boost Payoff Odds for Decision Bets:

Flag those shoot-from-the-hip decisions. Pause. Ask:  

  1. Isn’t this a decision to bet resources?
  2. What is the all-in cost?
  3. How much would we bet (with what odds) on best-worst-likely outcomes?
  4. What are our underlying assumptions? Are they solid?
  5. If we do this, what next, best opportunity are we not pursuing?
  6. What are some weighted criteria we can quickly develop to narrow our scope to only the most promising targets? (Rifle v shotgun).
  7. Rather than jumping in with both feet, can we put in a toe with a quick, cheap experiment? Minimize risk, maximize learning. Nail it, then scale it.

Distributor Examples That Use These Guidelines

(in my webinar series; link below)

  1. Survey your 5 best customers in your #1 most, net-profitable niche (Play 7 in webinar #5)
  2. What are best criteria for choosing “target accounts” (webinar #10)
  3. “Our reps won’t like this”. Sort them multiple ways and solve (webinar #8)
  4. And more!

Making more smart-bets in turbulent and e-changing times is vital! 

*- Yiddish Adage

[1] See my “C19 Downsize” webinar and the eCommerce 2023 series

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