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Heuristics are articulated or unarticulated rules of thumb used to make decisions when the full facts are not known or knowable in the time available. They are usually known within the CEO's inner circle. They also are typical means by which experts take decisions under conditions of uncertainty.

Name, history, and examples

Heuristics, from Greek εὑρίσκω, ...

Heuristic (adj., usually associated to "approach", "method", or "procedure")...


  • Non-business
    • Napkin test. Any framework or model that can’t be drawn on a table napkin from memory has little utility
    • Napoleon Bonaparte. March to the sound of the guns
    • US Marines. When the battlefield plan breaks down, capture the high ground, stay in touch, keep moving
  • Business
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Use in naturalizing sense-making

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Related methods

Related cases and stories


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Supporting artefacts

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Related concepts

  • Bias
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Articles and books

  • Dave Snowden, The ASHEN Model: an enabler of action (Part One of Basics of Organic Knowledge Management), Originally published in Knowledge Management, April 200 Vol 3 Issue 7 edited 2004

Blog posts


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Other references