Does grace matter? In a strategic sense, that is, defined as an outcome shaper of significance. Cricket fans got a case study in India’s Sunday World Cup loss to Australia. A pall of gloom seemed to descend on a once-roaring stadium rather early in the match, an audible loss of confidence in Indian chances of victory. Arguably, had spectators kept clapping now and then for the crisp strokes hit by Australian batters and shown cheerier appreciation for Travis Head’s century, a sullen mood in the stands would’ve had less of a chance to reach our players on the field and dampen morale. While the silence was explainable, gracious applause here and there for the other side might have masked its dismal message and kept up spirits. The second case is even more debatable: the ouster of Sam Altman from OpenAI for inconsistent candour, as cited by its board while forcing out the co-founder and CEO of this artificial intelligence (AI) hot-house famous for ChatGPT. So graceless was Altman’s ejection that the shock of it threw the company into tumult, with colleagues, clients and investors ready to rally around him. Efforts were reportedly made by investors to get him back, but OpenAI being left worse off was made likelier as an eventuality by the shock firing of a CEO who’d almost become the AI industry’s voice. Now Emmett Shear of Twitch will take that job as Altman heads for Microsoft.