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Decide: Better Ways of Making Better Decisionsby David Wethey
Synopses & Reviews
Everybody has to make decisions. In companies, everyone from the CEO downwards is paid to make decisions, but there is little specific training in the practice. There are plenty of courses in financial management, people management, supply chain management, and negotiation skills - but what about decision making skills? As individuals we also face important decisions throughout our lives, and can benefit from understanding what works and what is less likely to.
As well as being thought-provoking, Decide is practical in its approach and sets out a clear decision-making model, that, if properly followed, will enable the reader to make or contribute to effective decisions, whether the time available is 60 days (the average time for a project), 60 hours (the weekend you often have to mull over an important issue), 60 minutes (the duration of a normal meeting), or 60 seconds (often much less), the time frame available to combat servicemen and women, and workers in the emergency services.
This book is aimed at both a broad business and professional audience and at the general reader. It is not filled with jargon or complicated business models, and it uses universal and interesting case studies to build its argument.
General readers and professionals who are key decision makers in their organization
Life presents everyone with a steady stream of decisions that they have to make. So, like it or not, decision making is a skill that needs practice every day - at work, at home, and in every aspect of life. Yet, people often make decisions without properly considering the context, options and implications of their actions. Or worse still, they end up managing the consequences of avoiding taking difficult decisions.
Decide sets out a clear and easy to follow model that enables readers to make or contribute to effective decisions, proving that it does not have to be a long drawn out process, as long as they use a mixture of rational and lateral thinking.
Free from business jargon, and filled with relevant case studies, Decide is a useful book for everyone whose life revolves around successful decision making. Thought-provoking and practical, it helps readers make the right decisions, and choose from their options wisely, whether they have 60 days, 60 minutes or just 60 seconds.
Many people make decisions without properly considering the context, options, and implications of their actions. Or worse still they simply manage the consequences of avoiding taking decisions. The difference between winning and losing in business, and often in life, hangs on getting it right. Decide proves that decision making does not have to be a long drawn out process, as long as it is approached with a mixture of rational and lateral thinking.
Business people and companies that don't make decisions - or make bad ones - will die. Wethey shows how this has been proven through the rise and fall of formerly powerful companies such as Marconi, Chrysler, Cadbury Schweppes and Lehman Brothers. Their management prided themselves on strong decision making, but they decided to focus on a future which never came and abandon a present which was real and profitable.
Decision making isn't easy, but there are rules that work. With examples from politics, sports, business, the military and even dating sites, Decide emphasizes the importance of both creative problem solving and managing the decisions throughout.
About the Author
David Wethey has had a unique insight into hundreds of companies, first as a successful ad man and over the last 23 years running his own consulting practice Agency Assessments International (AAI). AAI specializes in helping some of the world's largest companies in an important area of decision making, the selection of their advertising agencies and marketing partners.
Table of Contents
01 Dreams and determination: What drives great deciders
Summing up the interview highlights
02 Nightmares: Striking a balance between being tolerant of mistakes, and understanding the danger signs that tell you a decision can go badly wrong
It isnt wrong to be wrong
Whats the ROD (Return on Decision)?
But dont be wrong too often
Sometimes people make really bad decisions
How do we explain seriously bad decisions?
Why do things that arent a good idea?
Why do the mighty fall so often?
Have you ever wondered why so many decisions fail?
Condemned to repeat the experience
Try to avoid the biggest decision trap of all: downside delusion
Being too busy
Keep watching out for the early decision
Heres another way of looking at an early decision
Was the financial crisis caused by Decision Traps?
What makes a decision bad? (a checklist you can add to)
Bad judgement. Was failure due to...?
... or more fundamentally to not being in the right condition to make a good decision?
More questions to be asked after a failed decision
03 Opportunities and problems: Before making a decision its critical to define opportunities and deal with problems
Before embarking on a big decision you have to define the opportunity or solve the problem
Capitalizing on opportunities
Turning a big problem into an opportunity
04 Smart decision making: We are all looking for a system that works. It has to be a mixture of good thinking and harnessing the power of the subconscious brain
The Holy Grail - better decisions
A smart way to make decisions better
The Agency Assessments method - rigour, but also room for chemistry and gut feel
Allowing for gut feel in the Smart Decisions Approach
Another reason we need to accommodate gut feel
The emotional side of decision making
How do we rationalize gut feel?
Fast and frugal
Lessons from modern neurology
The learning from neurology
Rear Admiral David Snelson talks about the effect of ‘autopilot
Decision making is best played as a team game
The key question
The journey - not the single step: mapping a decision process, and managing it over the life of a project ‘Morethanism
Identify the limiters, and you will make decisions better
Go back if you have to
‘The situation has moved on
Decisions and journeys
‘All the emotional intelligence of a lamp post
‘Send three and fourpence, were going to a dance
Highlights on decision making from the interviews 1
05 Its a matter of time: the magic number 60: Its vital to know how long you have got
Time is relative
60 seconds or less
60 hours or more
David Jones of Havas on fast decisions
Simon Calver of Lovefilm told me about fast decisions and how important they can be
Daniel Topolski, the rowing coach, told me why he is suspicious of fast decisions
A moment of indecision
Are there decisions we are happy to talk about - and others we would rather forget?
Surely technology has made it easier to make great decisions?
Maybe there is learning from marketing
Why are meetings so frustrating?
What can go wrong with meetings
60 minutes to an hour is enough time to bring a meeting to a decisive conclusion; but there need to be special rules
Meetings - 10 suggested hygiene factors
Listen if you want to be heard
David Jones of Havas was the creator of an ambitious 60-week (plus) project, One Young World Barbara Cassani was responsible for another 60-week project: the launch of a new airline - Go
I asked General Sir Mike Jackson a question about his judgement of time: did he think the second Iraq War would be a long-drawn-out affair?
06 The people factor: Personality profiling creates teams that work, and helps us all understand ourselves - and one another
De Bono - the Maltese Eagle
How I have always profiled client and advertising agency people
Sample one - initial view on the team and its leader Shaun
Account planners understand what makes people tick
Blamers and Pacifiers
Meredith Belbin - the hero of team theory
High confidence, low self-esteem
Why do female tennis players grunt?
Happiness is what we want, what we really want
Is experience the be all and end all?
A big insight into the way business leaders behave: causals and effectuals
Steve Jobs - the most effectual thinker of our era
Calver, Cassani and Vasiliev on enterpreneurs and managers:
07 Choice is three-dimensional decision making: Choosing is different because of the way the brain - and committees - work
Daniel Topolski on selecting oarsmen
Three dimensions of choice
Consumer choice is a highly sophisticated business nowadays
Behavioural Economics isnt a one-way street
Charles Spence interview
Two moments of truth
Costco: Behavioural Economics in the raw
08 War: What we can learn from the way nations fight
All Hell Let Loose by Sir Max Hastings (2011)
The fog of war
Decision making - its a contact sport
Britons and Americans - Part 1: the Gulf, 1988
Britons and Americans (and Russians) - Part 2: Kosovo, 1999
Britons and Americans (and Serbs) - Part 3: offshore Montenegro, 1999
Jackson on decision making
Snelson on gut feeling and training
I asked General Sir Mike Jackson about intelligence and hierarchy
Should we use wartime decision making in dealing with terrorism?
09 Sport and other games: Serious lessons from evenings and weekends
Lets start with a game - an ancient game
Decision making by sportsmen and women
Daniel Topolski on how bad decisions can drag down even proven winners
Colin, Lord Moynihan, Chairman of the British Olympic Association (BOA)
The Inner Game of Tennis, Timothy Gallwey (1974)
Quieten the negative thought in your head
Randy Haynes is a leading expert on sports betting
10 Love: Deciding with the heart and not the head
Vitaly Vasiliev, CEO of Gazprom - a true love story
Karl Gregory - MD of Match.com
Thoughts on Karl Gregorys description of how the dating industry works
Are there any rules for decision making in love?
What match.coms Lovegeist report tells us
11 My 20 best decision tips
What Our Readers Are Saying