This blog from Pete Cook about aiming to fail 50% of your projects each quarter is so right in the context of risk and decision making. All my research, whether it is McKinsey Global Surveys or academic research such as the work of Professor Paul Nutt of Ohio State University and his analysis of more than 400 major business decisions across scores of countries, the evidence is the same. For more complex, strategic decisions our success rate, globally, is about 50%. That is, no better than chance.

I would also add that if we can improve our decision making we would not have to fail 50% of our projects each quarter. We could aim to fail 40, 30, 20, 10%... of projects. Think of what that would do for the world.

Risk based decision making, if used in the right way is THE BEST methodology for decision making and, as all risk professionals know, for allocating resources. Which is of course the first outcome of strategic decisions.

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