The Art Of Inference

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The introductory presentation used to train people in the "Art of Inference". Join the William\'s Inference Service group to learn more.

The introductory presentation used to train people in the "Art of Inference". Join the William\'s Inference Service group to learn more.

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  • 1. Inferential Thinking
    Discovery, Insight, Intelligence
  • 2. Agenda
    1:30 pm Welcome and Introductions
    Collecting anomalies - the foundation of inference  - What to collect - defining the characteristics of useful anomalies.  - How to observe anomalies while scanning the business environment.
    Group work sessions – In groups of 3 to 5 we will investigate a selection of current Williams themes in depth.
    3 – 3.20 pm Afternoon Tea/Coffee
    Weaving – Groups practice pulling the pieces together and drawing inferences  - Finding the context of change – careful use of historical perspective  - The use of symbols
    - The use of research (uncovering the unintended message)
    Using discoveries
    4:30 pm Adjourn
  • 3. Learning Objectives
    • Using anomalies and surprises as a filter for information gathering
    • 4. Inferring from a limited data set and recognizing patterns of change
    • 5. Monitoring, testing and strengthening hypotheses using targeted research
    • 6. Understanding symbolic power
    • 7. Using discovery in business and investment decisions
  • The Elements of Inferential Thought
    Color and Myth
  • 8. Observation
    “It is not what you look at, but rather what you see.”
    Henry David Thoreau
    Danger and Opportunity
    The “new” has no experts
    Old knowledge can be a hindrance
    Minimize the data so decisions are more accurate
  • 9. Anomalies
    • Superlatives – biggest, most, largest, fastest, slowest, etc.
    • 10. Surprises – growth more than 20%, outpacing a leader, unintended messages
    • 11. Firsts – the beginning of change.
    • 12. Lies and deceit – strengthen significance
    • 13. Incongruencies – “The empty parking lot” and “The dog that did not bark”
  • Symbols
    Myth as public dreams
    Color choices
    Negative impression – i.e. not what we have, but rather what we would like to have
  • 14. Anecdotes
    Led by anomaly and symbol
    Observations in one instance can be extrapolated to a larger cultural significance
    Important to stimulate creative response to an inference
    Emerge from discussion and relationships
  • 15. Inferences
    Making hypotheses beyond cause/effect relationships
    Inclusive of an awareness of the relative danger/opportunity
    Need a broad perspective, yet a specific lens (limited data set)
    Early warning, predictive, but not timed
    Corollaries often surface with time
  • 16. Decisions and Awareness
    • More information does not always make better decisions
    • 17. Inferential thinking is a means to see through the clutter of information overload
    • 18. Try to use only a few pieces of information to make key decisions
    • 19. Base decisions on inferences rather than history alone
    • 20. History is useful in the development of the “gut feeling”
    • 21. Inferential training helps professionals gain sufficient confidence to achieve accuracy ahead of the curve
    • 22. Inference provides a information needed to monitor the business environment
  • Using Inference
    • Intelligence
    • 23. Unintended messages looking for an insight
    • 24. Design
    • 25. An insight looking for options
    • 26. Choice
    • 27. Selecting an option and taking action
    • 28. Review
    • 29. Monitoring the process for added value
  • Conclusion
    David Waechter