executive head in sand

How to Avoid Strategic Mindtraps – a new executive education course

Eric Garland Uncategorized Leave a Comment

I’m excited to announce a brand-new course that I have developed specially for the International Competitive Intelligence Conference coming up in Bad-Neuheim, Germany on April 22: How to Avoid Strategic Mindtraps. For those familiar with my Future Intelligence methodology, this is an advanced course for professionals who need to understand the deeper psychological aspects of our work as analysts in the service of decision makers.


This course is aimed at the mid- to advanced-level intelligence practitioner who wants to maximize resources and the likelihood of success by examining five decades of cognitive, social, and political biases at work during strategic management initiatives. From Sun Tzu to Western Union’s misunderstanding of the telephone, to the modern failure to understand Elon Musk and Tesla’s long-play strategy, centuries full of strategic mistakes are a text book to be read, savored, and employed for professional enrichment and entertainment. In this course we look in detail at the psychological underpinnings of cognitive failure when it comes to future-focused decisions based on the latest behavioral economic research as well as practical example from the world of competitive intelligence and foresight.

  1. Shouldn’t futurists and competitive intelligence analysts be obsolete by now?
  2. Spotlight on decision biases: normalcy bias, the Semmelweis reflex, and more
  3. Spotlight on probability biases: survivorship bias, authority bias, and more
  4. Case study: Technology company, new CEO, disruptive technology
  5. Spotlight on social biases: just world bias, the Dunning Kruger effect, and more
  6. Spotlight on memory biases: Good Ol’ Days bias, the hindsight filter, and more
  7. Case study: Operation Iraqi Freedom

Here’s why we need courses about negative outcomes

Management in the 20th century went through a constant state of evolution as science and technology began to revolutionize business every twenty years or so. From Taylorism to Peter Drucker and on up to Peter Schwartz, business and government executives have tended to jettison the thinking of the past with such a rapidity that there isn’t really time to consider how a certain intellectual technique produces value in the long-run. Futurism is now a discipline with more than fifty years history; competitive intelligence has around thirty in its modern form. As the pace of evolution slows for these techniques, we can look at recent case studies and examine just why we misunderstood a certain strategic position so badly. Moreover, our findings will be applicable going forward in a way that wasn’t possible in the last century.

If you’re a strategy professional or just want to think like one, come out to ICIC 2016.