We learned this week of the passing of one of the giants in our field, Tom Wallace.
Tom was as gracious and fine a gentleman as you'll meet. Through his writing, teaching, and consulting work -- in frequent collaboration with Bob Stahl -- tens of thousands of industry practitioners have been influenced worldwide. Myself included.
I first met Tom at an Institute of Business Forecasting conference in Phoenix in the late 2000s. In 2010 he contributed a Foreword to The Business Forecasting Deal, and I was honored to have such star power associated with my book. I wrote in the Acknowledgments,
When the publisher asked me for Tom's job title and company, I was aghast -- that was like asking Cher or Madonna for their title and company! Most of us in the planning and forecasting fields would agree that Tom is just as much a celebrity as Cher or Madonna -- even if he doesn't have quite as fabulous a wardrobe.
Tom ended his Foreword by kindly stating, "I wish I had written this book." This is, curiously, exactly what I said to myself upon the 2002 publication of Tom and Bob's Sales Forecasting: A New Approach -- a book with near perfect alignment to my suspicions on the topic.
- Bias is a forecast that's wrong on purpose...bias is almost always caused by factors outside the forecasting process... strive for zero bias .
- The best way to eliminate forecast error is to eliminate the need to forecast.
- Focus on process improvement, not forecast accuracy.
If you haven't read this before, please take a look now.
Thank you Tom, for everything you gave us.