Deciding to keep your options open

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Anthony Pica
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Deciding to keep your options open

Deciding to keep your options open

In 1997, IBM's computer program "Deep Blue" challenged chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov.

The match marked a significant milestone in technology, science, and culture. Not only did Garry lose, but it was also his first defeat ever and the first time a computer beat a reigning world champion.

How was a mere computer able to defeat the greatest chess player in the world?

IBM's research scientists equipped the supercomputer with "brute force" decision-making power: Deep Blue could process 200 million moves per second. It calculated each possibility and avoided moves that would put it into bad positions.

The game of chess is about making decisions.

Leadership, too, depends on daily decision-making and foreseeing the future.

What can we borrow from IBM's programming strategy?

Lexie Bennett said it well in her Tweet:


While it's astonishing that Deep Blue could calculate 200 million moves per second, there are actually more possible decisions in a chess game than there are atoms in the observable universe!

So, when facing a complex decision, one simplified approach is to make the choice that will afford you the most flexibility in the future and not limit your options. Like Deep Blue, avoid the moves that would put you into a bad position.

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