I read in the LA Times about Warren Buffet at his recent annual meeting for Berkshire Hathaway inviting Doug Kass to be part of a handful of analysts posing impromptu questions to Warren and his second in command, Charlie Munger. What is interesting is not that a group of panelists will ask questions, but that the questions are not “pre-rehearsed” and that Doug Kass is a hedge fund manager who is a total skeptic of Buffet’s plan for Berkshire Hathaway, and has put his money against Berkshire Hathaway’s stock. The article describes that Warren Buffet is a big fan of truly listening to smart people who have a differing opinion from his own. “A deliberate, lifelong effort to find people to tell him why he might be wrong is one of the keys to Mr. Buffet’s success” – Buffet’s rule was to write down the thoughts of others within a half hour of hearing it so that his mind would not reject the idea before thinking it through. There is a lot to learn from Mr. Buffett. Creating a culture of healthy discourse, encouraging your team to provide a differing opinion and listening to their ideas can be a big point of learning.
Ann Banning - Wright