Micah Zenko：How to Succeed by Thinking Like the Enemy
On May 19, 2017, the Institute of International and Strategic Studies (IISS), Peking University (PKU) held the 13th North Pavilion Series Seminar, inviting Micah Zenko, Senior Fellow of The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), US, to give a keynote lecture entitled How to Succeed by Thinking Like the Enemy. The seminar was hosted by Associate Prof. Gui Yongtao, Assistant President of IISS.
Mr. Zenko introduced the concept of “Red Team”, which is now widely adopted in the military and political circles in the United States, pointing out that application of reverse thinking is required in the process of organization's successful operation and rational decision-making. With a rich military experience, Mr. Zenko introduced America’s anti-terrorism training after 9/11, the Afghanistan War and his experience of business investment, vividly describing the importance of empathy for successful decision-making.
Mr. Zenko believed that even the most generous and open leader has an information blind spot and would easily filter out different views from himself. Therefore, playing a complementary role of risk averse, scenario simulation and multiple choice providing in an institution, Red Team should be an indispensable decision-making part of the military and business circles.
Finally, in the Q&A session, Mr. Zenko exchanged views with teachers and students present on issues such as cognitive bias to different religions and cultural backgrounds in the simulation of reverse thinking, the impact of interests and needs of different institutions on the results of decision-making in its process and the effect of different styles of leadership on the institution, etc.
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