In "The Illusion of Understanding," Kahneman observes, "A very generous estimate of the correlation between the success of the firm and the quality of its CEO might be as high as .30, ... [This] implies you would find the stronger CEO leading the stronger firm in about 60% of the pairs--an improvement of a mere 10 percentage points over random guessing... Improving the odds of success from 1:1 to 3:2 is a very signficant advantage, both at the racetrack and in business."
Last night I was watching a TV show about a man who had been victimized by having a bomb taped to his chest. His friend knew how to defuse it but he had 3 chances and 5 codes to try. So it was likely, but not guaranteed to work.
That's the way management and marketing operate. You can do everything right, but circumstances often intervene to prevent your success. When I was the Marketing Director of The Guardian Plan at Service Corporation International we had a fabulous plan which was just starting to produce results when the corporation decided to shut down the division because they were unprepared for the finanical commitment. At CGI, we had finally figured out the formula for a successful seminar marketing program when the 'dot.bust' downturn devastated the entire information technology sector, and we were laid off.
All we can do is keep preparing for success.