Would we bet on it?

Gordon Bell, a prominent investor who funds start-ups, is very blunt with executives of firms in his portfolio. For instance, when someone makes predictions for company performance, Bell will zero in on one number and ask the CEO, “Wanna bet? A side bet, you and me, for $1,000.” If the CEO gulps, Bell knows he or she has doubts. At least once, when an underperforming CEO didn’t take the bet, Bell had him fired. You can take this notion up a notch to engage in prediction markets, set up like a stock market, where people can buy and sell shares reflecting their honest assessment of how a particular plan will play out.

Source: Seven Ways to Fail Big by Paul B. Carroll and Chunka Mui | Harvard Business Review, September 2008

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