I recently was looking through blogs from McKinsey Quarterly and ran across one of my favorites. It is entitled Bias busters: Premortems: Being Smart at the Start. The authors advocate the use of Premortems as a tool for identifying biases which can get in the way of good decision making. I agree as I use a similar process with clients who are developing strategies and transforming their organizations.
Reading the blog from McKinsey & Co. also brought back fond memories of a great man who originally taught me about Premortems. Marty Leaf was an accomplished lawyer in New York. He began his career as a trial lawyer and later expanded to handle dispute resolution as well as complex contract negotiations. Marty also provided a great service to humanitarian organizations such as the Buckminster Fuller Institute, Hunger Project and a United Nations NGO. Marty’s clients were typically large, well-known businesses, but also included a diverse group of individuals such as Lhamo Dondrub, the 14th Dalai Lama, John Denver and Werner Erhard.