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Winning Formulas (Regression – Fun Introductory Group Exercise)

Gregory Taketa

Gregory Taketa

Gregory Taketa is the Data Decanter, serving refined, well-breathed data analysis while keeping out the sediments.

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Winning Formulas (Regression – Fun Introductory Group Exercise)

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An inebriating exercise by Gregory Taketa for both Non-Data Decision Makers and Soon-To-Be Data-Based Decision Makers to quickly grasp how to use regression analysis (no serious math needed, don’t worry). This is also an excellent social exercise and similar to the fun Feedforward exercise developed by famous Executive Coach Marshall Goldsmith.

OBJECTIVE: You create your own “winning formulas” based on your life experience and then collect “winning formulas” from other people.

HOW TO WRITE YOUR WINNING FORMULA (for your convenience, a Game Piece is provided at the end of the PDF document):

  1. On the Left side of the formula, write an ACHIEVEMENT, a result or outcome you have achieved at some point in your life.
    • “Got a 3.8 GPA” is an achievement.
    • “Got married to a beautiful spouse” is an achievement, though some couples question that years later…
    • “Received a promotion” is an achievement.
    • “Worked 40 hours a week” is NOT an achievement. It is an input.
    • “Exercised 3 times a week” is NOT an achievement. That is an input, too.
    • An ACHIEVEMENT, simply, is something you can succeed or fail to get. An INPUT, in contrast, is something you do or do not.
  2. On the Right side of the formula, write 3-5 INPUTS which you think led to getting that ACHIEVEMENT.
    • For example, a friend won a lot of scholarship money (ACHIEVEMENT) because he applied a lot (Input #1), told stories (Input #2), and did volunteer work (Input #3).
    • Fewer than 3 Inputs is not descriptive enough, while more than 5 Inputs is overkill (your credit scores are usually measured with 5-7 Inputs)
  3.  For each Input, give a POWER score, such that higher scores indicate higher importance.
    • For example, if you have 4 Inputs, you might give your most important Input a score of 4, and your least important Input a score of 1.
    • Ideally, no 2 Inputs have the same score, so ranking might be a safe way to score.
  4. Be creative. You might not have as much fun writing formulas like “I made a lot of money by working hard (Score 3), studying hard (Score 1), and making lots of friends (Score 2).”
  5. Don’t worry too much about the accuracy of your choices. This exercise is for you, and nobody is judging.

When you have 3 Winning Formulas listed, begin exchanging with other people.


  1. You give 1 formula, you get 1 formula.
  2. NO CRITIQUING. Especially you self-proclaimed experts! Everybody is at risk of attribution error, period. The goal of this exercise is to see others’ worldviews about achievement and their opinions of the meaningful factors. We’re not here to judge; we’re here to help each other.
  3. Asking clarifying questions is okay, but there is no room for opinions nor argument.
  4. After accepting the formula in a nonjudgmental manner, say “Thank you.”
  5. This exchange should last no more than 5-10 minutes.


You now have some inventory about your successes and others’ successes. In a short exercise, you had nothing to lose and everything to gain. A host could set up a game such that a winner who collected the most formulas wins a prize, but I think the true prize is collecting a portfolio of diverse winning formulas. On the Game Piece I provide, there are reflective questions to help you.


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