Answer questions – by imagining the situation in reverse

Reverse Thinking

A large number of questions might be illuminated — if not answered —by imagining the situation in reverse.

If Britain had no nuclear deterrent, would there be much clamour to obtain one? If Scots were independent already, what sort of union would they seek? Which eurozone countries would now be eager to join had they stayed outside the bloc?

The problem with many decisions is that while the costs of change are often immediate, salient and quantifiable, the gains are yet to be experienced.

Following on from yesterday’s article: “You cannot eliminate your biases“, these quotes are from a wonderful thought experiment posted by Rory Sutherland in The Spectator recently.

Rory’s piece is called: “Backwards Thinking” and is very much worth the full read, even if you don’t live in London (the alternate title is “Why no-one ever moves back to London”).

For more on “Reverse Thinking”, see the site by Cyriel Kortleven.

Even with such tools, it is not always possible to answer questions yourself from an alternate perspective, so I recommend you make sure there are people in and around your life and work who can challenge your thinking and come from different angles.

If you are the kind of leader who identifies with the four core characteristics on the #BeMoreYou page, book yourself a call with me now and bring to that call a challenge you’d like support on making a decision on.

Let’s talk

My clients say I “see what others don’t see”. Experience for yourself, book your 30-minute call now.


Also published on Medium.

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