The need for forward momentum is perhaps one of the negative consequences of the fast pace of modern life. This issue is discussed in ex-world chess champion, Garry Kasparov’s latest book “How life imitates chess”. Kasparov feels that decision-making suffers if insufficient time is taken. He’s not alone. Edward de Bono – the inventor of lateral thinking once said that apart from extreme emergencies there is rarely a need to think quickly. Warren Buffett moved his offices out of
Western thinking tends to focus on the end result of a decision rather than on improving the thinking that leads to that decision. This is a lost opportunity that may lead to making essentially the same decision time after time.
Low quality decision-making affects all crafts and IT is no exception. Kasparov applies some lessons learnt from a career in which he dominated world chess. He makes a clear distinction between strategy and tactics. Strategy is probably the most difficult aspect of chess to master: it requires planning in unique positions while simultaneously trying to frustrate your opponent’s plans. Tactics relates to immediate concerns (often called forced sequences) where a single mistake can result in losing instantly.
It’s the same thing in IT – how often has a quick (tactical) bug fix or device reconfiguration resulted in some unforeseen (strategic) consequence? Decision-making can be significantly improved by applying some of Kasparov’s suggestions. Not many books can claim to improve peoples’ thinking, so I rate this one as a good read!
Quote of the week: “If it’s not simple, it’s probably wrong”.
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