1Pursuing Win‐Win‐Win Scenarios

Teaching matters for business because learning fuels modern day organizations and entrepreneurs. It's not surprising, for example, to find that Adam Robinson is not only the cofounder of a successful test‐prep company, but also a chess master. He's a masterful learner, and most likely, through a combination of hard work, intuition, and natural aptitude, he cracked the codes of these two complicated systems and then mapped the fastest routes through them. His operating principle? “Outflanking and outsmarting the competition” (Robinson, 2018).

Folks like Robinson build off the parallels between the art of teaching and good business practices. One of his key insights originates with a behavioral study by psychology professor and decision researcher, Paul Slovic. Slovic studied the effects of information on eight professional horse handicappers, that is, people who bet on the outcomes of horse races for a living. Would knowing more help them to perform better?

In the first round of the experiment, they were given five pieces of information that they deemed most useful for their line of work and were asked to make predictions, based on the information, on the probable outcome of races. In the last round, they were given 40 pieces of information, and likewise, asked to use it to bet on horses.

Here's what happened:

[The] average accuracy of predictions remained the same regardless of how much information the handicappers had…Three…showed less accuracy ...

Get Make Yourself Clear now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.