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How to make better decisions


A presentation that brings together the research on how bad we are at making decisions and procrastinating, with solutions to overcome

A presentation that brings together the research on how bad we are at making decisions and procrastinating, with solutions to overcome

Published in Business , Technology
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  • 1. DECISION-MAKING “I never put off till tomorrow what I can do the day after.” (Oscar Wilde) Thomas Miles, Planning Director, Lavender* (Sept 10)
  • 2. Making a decision is a matter of life & death in 1900, 10% of premature deaths were due to personal decisions in 2008, it’s 44.5% i.e. smoking, not exercising, criminality, drug & alcohol use & unsafe sex Instead of relying on external factors to keep us alive and healthy for longer, we can (and must) learn to rely on our decision-making skills in order to reduce the number of dumb and costly mistakes that we make. Source: Operation Research, Ralph Keeney 2008
  • 3. But we’re not good at making decisions The basic issue has to do with succumbing to short-term desires and foregoing long-term benefits. When temptation strikes we very often succumb to it. And we do this over and over and over.
  • 4. If I offered you: today tomorrow 72% choose $100 today
  • 5. And we spend too long making them vs missing countless photo opportunities that he will never get back. And given how similar the two cameras were, he might have been better off simply flipping a coin.
  • 6. It’s potentially an important predictor of future success The Marshmallow Experiment
  • 7. Delayed Gratification & Self Discipline is a bigger problem The root of which is procrastination - a modern problem quadrupled between 1978 and 2002 (Source: Piers Steel, University of Calgary)
  • 8. Dreams of Lack of heroic success + confidence = self-handicapping. create conditions that make success impossible i.e. too much planning, second opinions
  • 9. Procrastinator for iPhone - no more lost time - endless back & forth - agonizing
  • 10. + too much choice.....
  • 11. So, what to do about
  • 12. Ready, fire, aim “Strategy is great, but doing stuff is better.... Perfection comes along.... eventually” Geoff Ross, founder of 42 Below
  • 13. Recognise the problem Set deadlines Avoid committees Make it an iterative process Don’t try and remove risk No fear & a ‘fuck it’ mentality
  • 14. Thank You