Ready, fire, aim.

February 23, 2011 at 9:33 pm 1 comment

via Inc. (February 1, 2011):

“Ready, fire, aim.” is the motto of one entrepreneur who participated in an ongoing research project by Saras Sarasvathy, now a professor at UVA’s Darden School of Business. Her research started when she was a graduate student at Carnegie Mellon when she recruited and met with 45 entrepreneurs (out of a pool of 245 potential candidates) who all had 15 or more years of entrepreneurial experience and had “started multiple companies—both successes and failures” with at least one of the companies taken public.

In her meetings with the 45 entrepreneurs, “she presented each with a case study about a hypothetical start-up and 10 decisions that the founder of such a company would have to make in building the venture. Then she switched on a tape recorder and let the entrepreneur talk through the problems for two hours.” Comments such as the “Ready, fire, aim.” motto helped Sarasvathy conclude that “master entrepreneurs rely on what she calls effectual reasoning.”

The Society for Effectual Action, which has Sarasvathy’s research at its core, defines effectual reasoning as “a type of human problem solving that takes the future as fundamentally unpredictable, yet controllable through human action; the environment as constructible through choice; and goal as negotiated residuals of stakeholder commitments rather than as pre-existent preference orderings.” This specifically contrasts with the way that successful corporate execs think; Sarasvathy has found that this group tends to “set a goal and diligently seek the best ways to achieve it,” using causal reasoning.

diagram from The Society for Effectual Action

February 23’s daily design idea is knowing how you think is extremely valuable. And even if you already know, and wish that you could be closer to the Effectual side of the scale, there’s good news: “everybody can become more entrepreneurial in their reasoning.”

read the Inc. article or watch Sarasvathy’s interview on Big Think for more info


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1 Comment Add your own

  • […] March 21′s daily design idea is another quote from Crutchfield: “The secret of business innovation is to think big, act small, fail fast and learn rapidly.” For more insight into this innovative, action-filled approach to business, be sure to look into effectual reasoning and action. […]


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