Who is this man?

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I am a management consultant from Yorkshire who lives in London and enjoys work when I am using fresh techniques to help clients solve difficult problems. I performed on the London stand up circuit for 10 years, and if I can make the client laugh whilst I work with them, so much the better. I lead the A&D Profession at Atos Consulting

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Predictioneer

I am currently reading a book called “The Predictioneer” by a gentleman called Bruce Bueno de Mesquita (what’s not to love about a name like that?). He uses game theory and a his own “special sauce” in the form of a posh sounding set of algorithms to predict the likely outcomes of complex scenarios from the Middle East to the battles being played out in the courtrooms of America. Further, he claims to be able to engineer the future once he has correctly modelled the situation and its players, together with their motivations and levels of power and influence by identifying and exploiting the longest 'levers' in the scenario.

His case studies are impressive (although I don’t suppose anyone would be troubled to outline 250 pages of their greatest mistakes where a few numbers lead to the death of thousands) but his approach speaks loud and clear to the nerd in me: imagine, being able to solve the woes of the world with a laptop, strong coffee and a serious kick-ass spreadsheet!

What I like most is the fact that techniques like Mr BdeM’s use cold logic and numbers to come up with answers which strip out the emotion and prejudices of the stakeholders and strategists who, being usually human, are therefore the victims of extended bouts of megalomania, paranoia or any of a myriad of the other ‘oias, to which powerful people are often prone.

So, can a few equations solve global warming? Maybe not, but they can tell us that is won’t be solved by a few men not signing anything in a nice City called Kioto or Copenhagen or Slough or wherever… worth a scan if you like numbers, facts, unexpected outcomes and “letting the data speak” as my friend CB would say…

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