Sink or Swim

Another Flaw in Strategic Thinking was the Sunk Cost Effect.  It’s when people keep throwing more money/time/effort at a failing enterprise just because you have already sunk a lot of money into it in the hope that it will eventually pay off and all that input won’t have been wasted.  I see this all the time… projects that get funded for years without ever producing anything.  It usually takes a high-level person getting fired and a whole new regime being brought in for the project to be put out of its misery.  I think this is closely related to mental accounting or bucketizing things.

I like playing with metaphors and words.  Sunk cost is like an anchor making you sink instead of allowing you to swim.  How’s that for tying the title and the previous flaw together?  What is stopping you from swimming?