Category: Decision Making

Learning from History: What didn’t they know and when didn’t they know it?

  |   Decision Making

One of the big problems when we seek to learn the lessons of history is that we know how things turned out. That leads to what psychologists call “hindsight bias,” the tendency to think that what happened was inevitable or predictable. That’s almost never true. Consider Dwight Eisenhower in the hours leading up to D  »  Read More

Boss’s Tip of the Week: Forget perfect solutions

  |   Decision Making

One of my first bosses used to say that, “The price of perfection is prohibitive.” He was right. The fact is that you can spend a day more than forever trying to perfect something that’s already excellent. In the real world of limited resources, perfection is hard to achieve and the quest sucks up time  »  Read More

Boss’s Tip of the Week: Take a break on complex problems

  |   Decision Making

Get-it-done conscious choosing works very well for problems with two possible choices or solutions. But when you’ve got more variables and, especially, when those variables interact in a complex system, you’ll get better results if you turn the problem over to the unconscious part of your brain. Gather your  »  Read More

Problem solving like you mean it

  |   Decision Making

Serious problems demand serious attention. I remember sitting at a meeting years ago when an issue was raised that might affect my company’s operations in all of South America. It was a big deal and a thorny problem. That didn’t make much difference to one of the people at the table, though. “Okay,” he said  »  Read More

Quantitative Data and Self-Deception

  |   Decision Making

If you need someone to blame this on, it might as well be Rene Descartes. The 23-year-old Descartes was serving in the army when was visited in a dream by the Spirit of Truth who told him that “Conquest of nature is to come through number and measure.” Numbers were power. That effect was amplified during the Industrial  »  Read More

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