Contradictions

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Photo by Sebi

This post will be different than usual. I don’t really have a point. Just a philosophical question. In the last few weeks in my MBA I have felt like I am under constant attack of mixed messages.

One of the main things you learn in the MBA is that no company is invincible. So many companies have failed because they were reluctant to understand that their current advantage is what might bring them down. They relied too much on the past and did not consider the possibility, that the future will be quite different. And our professors keep ramming this idea into us.  “Past profitability is a poor indicator of future profitability” says our Strategy course slides.

But at the same time, one thing you keep learning and studying is how to try to forecast: future sales, future demands, and future trends. Half of our assignments deal with some kind of forecast of the future. The same strategy class talked about the fact the historically, some industries were less profitable than others.

Two thoughts on this:

In his novel “1984”, George Orwell’s descries the notion of Doublethink: the act of simultaneously accepting as correct two mutually contradictory beliefs. This is I have been feeling lately. They say that the ability to Doublethink is a trait of great people. I am trying to be great.

Maybe the answer lies in the middle. Understanding that both the past and the future are not reliable. The past is something we should study carefully. But we should not trust it blindly. The future is something we should try to forecast. But we should accept that we can’t.

Elad

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