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A friend introduced me to the concept of “sweep-stake” forecasting.

Imagine you’re with a group of people who have just reviewed a new forecast and agreed on the logic and process used to get there and are prepared to let the forecast stand as a core planning assumption.  Now ask that group to bet on what they personally think the forecast will be!

Typically, the forecaster who has produced his/her number will stand by it.  Others around the table, however, may well have different views.  As they each produce their own number and rationalise why it’s higher or lower than the agreed forecast, you will learn about other issues which may affect the forecast and about the individuals’ ability to understand and handle the numbers.

It’s good fun, and often enlightening.  Having a bet gives it more of a competitive edge, so make sure everyone pays up on the day of reckoning.  It is only fun, though, so the stakes shouldn’t really be much more than the price of a cup of coffee.