Should Strategists Take Baths? The Byzantine Empire’s Lesson in Surviving Uncertainty

Why do some organizations survive and thrive while others falter? The question has long been asked, and the proposed answers are many, but one factor that seems to play a very strong role is the ability to maintain a creative connection with the changing reality of one’s environment. A historical example is the survival of the Byzantine Empire.


How do strategic surprises happen? Lessons from 9/11

22 years ago, on September 11, 2001, the world watched in horror as two planes crashed into the World Trade Center in New York in one of the most spectacular terrorist attacks ever. Behind this immense tragedy, whose geopolitical consequences are still being felt today, lies the failure of the American intelligence apparatus, and the CIA in particular. Despite all the information at its disposal, the CIA failed to anticipate the attack. What explains this failure?


Welcome to uncertainty ! My new book is out on September 28th

My new book “Welcome to uncertainty!” will be available on September 28th.

The 2008 financial crisis, Brexit, the election of Donald Trump, the Covid-19 epidemic, the invasion of Ukraine, the return of inflation, and what next? The list of surprises keeps growing. Against this backdrop, a new perspective on forecasting is imperative. How can we thrive in a world we can’t predict?

Drawing on the author’s extensive research and real-world insights from working with leaders of all types of organizations, this book :

– Reveals the nature of our unpredictable reality,

– Addresses decision making amidst information scarcity, and

– Equips organizations to thrive in uncertain waters.

Essential reading for leaders, innovators, and those determined to harness the potential of change, this book is your compass in an uncertain and ever-evolving landscape.

📭 ▶️▶️▶️Pre-orders on Amazon are available here.

A 🇫🇷 French version of the book published by Diateino is available here.

The Pitfall of Assumptions in Forecasting: Lessons from “Losing the War with Japan”

In the realm of economic and geopolitical forecasting, the pitfalls of assumptions can prove both humbling and enlightening. A striking example of this can be found in the Frontline report titled “Losing the War with Japan,” which takes us back to a moment in 1991 when prevailing beliefs about Japan’s economic supremacy and America’s decline were pervasive.  


How innovators negotiate entrenched mental models. Lessons from Thomas Edison

Innovation, the driving force behind progress, often faces a formidable adversary: entrenched mental models. These cognitive frameworks shape our understanding of the world and can become barriers to the acceptance of breakthrough ideas. Managing the dynamic between innovation and prevailing mental models is the innovator’s challenge. Thomas Edison’s promotion of electric lighting over gas provides an example of how this challenge was successfully met.


How declining organizations create an imaginary double

Organizations in decline tend to create an imaginary double in which they lock themselves. This double is themselves, but in an idealized version. It is a mask that they create to hide and to insulate themselves from a reality that they refuse, letting the world go without them, even against them. The dissolution of this double, i.e. the acceptance of reality, however unpleasant it may be, is a prerequisite for any recovery. A good illustration of this is provided by the Apple turnaround in 1997.