The Ferrari and the GoatI have the pleasure of hosting a monthly business networking event in Birmingham called Coffee & Natter*.
Last week I led a session around decision making. We discussed how Richard Branson said he went about it when starting out on his own and he and his team still does to this day. Remembering that he has come up with some ‘wacky’ ideas of his own and he is constantly having people bring him schemes to invest in. He has always used a 3 stage process.

  1. If it sounds too good to be true it probably is. So he does due diligence to see what the reality is and where that would take them.
  2. What is the worst that could happen and if it did how would they mitigate against it.
  3. Based on 1 and 2, is the deal still worthwhile?

“Successful people do what unsuccessful people don’t” and in this case it is the mitigation of the potential downside which make Branson different.
Most people would look at the worst case scenario and probably say no at that point. Good decision makers not only consider the options but look beyond that and say ok, what if we took ‘Route A’ then what decisions might we face ahead, now what about ‘Route B’? If you do this then what appears initially to be the best option may not necessarily be so.

It’s about applying logic and also looking at the probabilities. Talking of which we then followed up the above session with a highly amusing and interactive exercise involving goats and a Ferrari, which I will share with you.

Imagine you are on a quiz programme and you have in front of you three closed doors. Behind one door is a Ferrari, behind the other two, goats. Note – this only works on the basis you want to win the car! J The placement of car and goats has been randomly determined.

You have to select a door. I, as the quizmaster, and knowing what is behind all the doors will then open one of the two remaining doors which I know has a goat behind it.

The question you have to answer is whether or not you increase your chances of winning the Ferrari by switching your original choice to the remaining unopened door.
So what’s it to be, stay or move… and why?

I would be interested to hear your responses.

Sometimes decision making is about ‘gut feel’ but more often than not it’s about thinking ahead and weighing up all of the potential outcomes and applying the law of probability. Do that and you’ll make a lot more great decisions.

Hope this proved of interest.
IJP Consultancy Ltd

*Coffee & Natter is free and provides a great environment to meet new people and learn new things that will help you improve both personally and in business. For details of our next event see here:
Ian is a leading Keynote Speaker, Trainer & Business Coach.

Having led teams and projects in the corporate world he now heads up his own consultancy business.

He has spent the last 30 years in Sales & Marketing and has taken a particular interest in the art, science and psychology of selling, which he has shared by training & coaching many teams and individuals over the years.

Ian also recognised that LinkedIn was a massively underutilised marketing tool and now spends a lot of his time working with individuals and businesses to help them use LinkedIn more effectively to find, connect and engage with their ideal clients.

Ian’s consultancy business, in addition to helping businesses be more effective also provides services associated with improving school governance.

Want to know more? Then please ring me, Ian Preston now on 07504 056368, or email me at

I look forward to hearing from you.