Friday, September 16, 2011

The turkey problem.

The Turkey problem is a very old problem – one that turkeys and humans have faced forever. It was first introduced to me by pseudo philosopher Nassim Taleb in his book “The Black Swan”. Let me give you an idea of what the problem is with a little chart I put together.


Turkey Problem

The problem the turkey faces is one of complacency. A turkey will live 1000 days eating hand fed grain and think that is how life will always be, then on the 1001 day the turkey gets killed by that same farmer that hand fed it. The turkey was putting so much faith in what it has always known, and has continued to think it knows until the time it dies.

This is a similar problem businesses face – even when things start to go wrong and look peculiar, we generally put so much faith in the past and what we think we know. When what we should be doing is re-evaluating the entire situation the company is currently in. In life things can change in an instant, and if you become complacent or succumb to “I know what I need to know” syndrome the future will create problems for you and not opportunities.