“What if we stopped scanning the horizon with binoculars and began instead examining our own decision-making and behavior through the most powerful of microscopes? I think that would change the way wars are fought, the kinds of products we see on the shelves, the kinds of movies that get made, the way police officers are trained, the way couples are counseled, the way job interviews are conducted, and on and on.”
Malcolm Gladwell, Blink, 2005
Mr. Gladwell’s insightful and instructive work on the power of intuitive thinking and the often-uncanny accuracy of snap judgments builds and conveys the case for trusting your internal computer – the adaptive unconscious – and against over-thinking a problem or decision.
However, the book’s subtitle: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, begs a series of questions: What happens when thinking without thinking fails you? How and when will you realize that your gut instincts were wrong and that your personal worldview and knowledge did not comport with a particular reality? What circumstances are actually engineered to lure you into a cognitive trap, causing missteps or indecision, and will you recognize them? How should you think if you have to think?
Today’s decision-maker is barraged by data and information. The volume of information available is daunting, and it often is polluted with malicious or benign lies, deception, ambiguity, feints, and fantasy. There exist no reliable filters to separate fact from fiction, opinion from observation, or imagination from reality. And, despite a global network of human and technical sensors churning out data, information, and even knowledge non-stop, there are gaps in the collective knowledge base, holes in the data, and missing facts or absent context.
In addition, and unlike the not-so-distant past, that massive trove of data and information is ubiquitously and simultaneously available to competitors and adversaries, with a few exceptions driven by secrecy and compartmentalization. Therefore, when competing, the side that more rapidly and precisely extracts relevant truths, compensates for absent evidence, and creates decision-quality knowledge wins. Almost always. Those who master the art of transforming that knowledge into foreknowledge often win before the other side knows there is a competition. Enter Crafty Bastards.
Crafty Bastards have a solid understanding of how their innate worldview and accumulated knowledge base inform their thinking, and therefore they value the role of “gut instinct” at both the tactical and strategic levels. The Craftiest Bastards, however, add a sharp and persistent awareness of the inherent fallibilities of gut instinct. They deliberately employ analytic rigor, when necessary, to counter the ingrained allure of intellectual self-reliance that congratulates, sometimes wrongly, intuition.
Crafty Bastards provide new lenses through which to view the world. We use 18 separate, non-kinetic lenses to examine tough issues. We think about thinking, take vertical and horizontal excursions in thinking, and examine our key assumptions. Our way of thinking is rebellious and revolutionary. This is the Crafty Bastards ethos.
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