Doing premortems

Premortems encourage people to use “prospective hindsight,” or, more accurately, to talk in “future perfect tense.” Instead of thinking, “we will devote the next six months to implementing a new HR software initiative,” for example, we travel to the future and think, “we have devoted six months to implementing a new HR software package.”

~ Bob Sutton from,

Positive thinking is dangerous. Negative thinking is also dangerous. But since, as humans, we are so prone to positive thinking—go read that little article which is just a taster-sized summary of Sutton’s book—that intentionally doing some negative visualization is a wise counter-balance.


Don’t hope the wind will change.

Don’t whine that the wind will never blow from the direction you want.

Decide if sailing today is wise based on the conditions and forecast, and then adjust the sails.