More from Rory Sutherland, this time on the benefits of business as a means for changing your mind:
And herein lies one magic quality of business. It is the only area of human activity where you get paid to change your mind.
In politics, in punditry, in academia, there is great value attached to consistency. Changing your mind risks loss of face. Your ability to deliver plausible generalisations counts for a lot. There is social pressure to adopt the dominant frame of thought.
After discussing how science is a good example of ideas being challenged and updated he returns to business:
Business goes one better than science. It actively rewards heterogeneity of thought. The more prevalent a belief is among your competitors, the greater the gains to be had from disproving it. When everyone else zigs, it pays to zag.
I really love this observation, and take it to heart. One of the things I love most about running my own business is that (as a control freak) I can change my ideas/plans/focus any time I like and the only person I have to report to is myself.