Do you Forecast like Punxsutawney Phil?

Have you seen the Bill Murray movie Groundhog Day? You should, it is hilarious. Do you know the story of Punxsutawney Phil? Phil is a groundhog. According to the tale, if a groundhog comes out from its burrow on Groundhog Day and doesn’t see it’s shadow, then spring will come early. If the groundhog sees its shadow then the winter weather will continue for six more weeks. I always groan when I hear that Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow…because folks in Wisconsin don’t need six more weeks of winter. Then I looked at the data. Phil is correct only 39% of the time! This is worse than a coin flip, worse than the Farmer’s Almanac, and worse than your local TV meteorologist.


In the important areas of your life and work, what are you using to forecast the future, make predictions, and help you decide? Do you think the opportunities will be better or worse in 3 months? How do you forecast this? Is it using something like a groundhog or do you use actual data? Assess the results of your predictions. Is it even possible to predict for some areas of your life? Or, is there information available that you can use to build a rubric to help you make decisions. Phil was only right 39% of the time. May have well been flipping a coin.

About The Author


Darin Eich is the author of Innovation Step-by-Step: How to Create & Develop Ideas for your Challenge and Root Down & Branch Out: Best Practices for Leadership Development Programs and has a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin. Darin was also the president and co-founder of BrainReactions,, and other startups. Darin gives speeches and can be hired to help your institution facilitate, create, and develop innovation programs, courses, retreats, and even conduct assessment or coach staff on developing leadership programs. Visit Innovation Training or our Facilitation, Design Thinking, and Innovation Courses to see for yourself - or email [email protected]