Sashihara Says ‘Optimize’

Optimization has its roots in “optimism,” originally defined as “doing the most good at the cost of least evil.” Today, says Steve Sashihara, it implies an active search for the best. “What we are doing is the practical best based on available data,” he says. He speaks at the Princeton Regional Chamber on Wednesday, April 18, at 7:30 a.m. 

Optimization often gets confused with strategy, says Sashihara, an author, the founder of Princeton Consultants, and the subject of a U.S. 1 cover story in August  Strategy is what high level executives use to make major decisions, but optimization works on any level. 

He sees optimization opportunities everywhere, and this could be the key to his success. Johns Hopkins neuroscientist David J. Linden defines a successful leader as someone with a physical addiction to it — the feeling of success in improving something, to never be satisfied with the status quo.

“I don’t characterize myself as indomitable but I don’t give up,” he says. “When people have a view that they are in the wrong place, I say, ‘if it is not as good as it should be, you can make the party happen where you are.’ This world view is a gift from my parents and grandparents — a nice positive way of looking at life. “

The root of optimization, after all, is optimism.

(Sashihara’s name is pronounced with the accent on third syllable). 

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