Chapter 1Making Great Predictions

Claudio Feser, Daniella Laureiro-Martinez, and Stefano Brusoni

It is not enough to possess a good mind; the most important thing is to apply it correctly.

—René Descartes, Discourse on the Method (2018)

During their flight to London, Isabelle shared with Eve some, but given confidentiality, not all aspects of her situation.

“The situation the company is facing is very challenging,” she said, “I expected to be taking the helm of a well-performing, ‘lighthouse firm’ and I found myself in a situation where ATG is challenged on two fronts. One, poor results. In fact, I am flying to London to pacify some of our investors after the last earnings release. And, two, the market outlook is very uncertain. Like all our traditional competitors, we must make difficult decisions: should we digitize? Should we specialize on smaller niches? Should we merge with a competitor? But also, what changes should I make to the organization?”

“You seem to be facing uncertainty. A very dynamic situation with many unknowns. You probably wonder what is the right thing to do,” commented Eve.

“Yes, I do. In this situation, and as a new CEO, the investors and the board are expecting me to address the situation, to analyze the situation, and to make important strategic and operational decisions,” answered Isabelle.

“OK, you need to make lots of decisions under uncertainty,” confirmed Eve.

“You have studied making decisions under uncertainty, I know. What are those?” asked ...

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