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Heuristics

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  • 29 Jun 2017

    Definitely probably

    In 1964, the CIA’s Sherman Kent tried to bridge the gap between ‘poets’ and ‘mathematicians’ when discussing the likelihood of certain events. He proposed that a phrase like ‘probable’ should represent an event with a 75% chance of taking place, while a phrase like ‘we doubt’ should be around a 30% chance.

    His study inspired a […]

  • 24 May 2017

    Because thinking is hard

    Back in January we wrote about some of the cognitive biases that can hinder our better judgement when recruiting new players. For example, we might overvalue experience – because know-how feels safe and so we assume it’s important – or be overly optimistic about a new player because we desperately want the signing to work out.
    Since […]

  • 29 Mar 2017

    The distant GM

    The ability to remain objective and view information dispassionately is central to any robust decision-making process. At 21st Club we frequently expound the benefits of getting an ‘outside view’ when setting strategic objectives or making other major decisions. But what if clubs went further and more fully incorporated the role of ‘the outsider’ into their […]

  • 16 Feb 2017

    Superforecasters

    If I asked you how likely your new January signing was to be a success, what would you say?

    Assuming you acquired an established player your natural instinct is that you really want your new signing to play every match between now and the end of the season – to boost your chances of survival or […]

  • 19 Jan 2017

    The endowment effect

    At this time of year, it is worth remembering that there is a sizeable disconnect between the number of transfer rumours reported, and the number of trades that actually occur.

    One simple explanation for this is that the level of evidence required to legitimately report a ‘rumour’ is very low. Another is that the rumours may […]

  • 08 Dec 2016

    The cost of a contract

    Last week, investigations by The Sunday Times revealed some of the finer details of bonuses within players’ contracts. While perhaps not a surprise to those working inside the game, the revelations provoked much discussion about their influence on player behaviour.

    The truth is that these clauses are the final details in a lengthy and often costly […]

  • 13 Oct 2016

    Confidently wrong

    One of the challenges in prediction – or indeed estimating anything where there are a number of unknowns – is that we all suffer from overconfidence. It’s the reason why 93% of drivers think they’re better than average or that project planning often underestimates the real completion time.

    Equally, imagine a poll asking the CEOs of […]