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Notes on Decisive presentation by Chip and Dan Heath


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Dan Heath was in town talking about his new book Decisive. Here are notes from the presentation.

Notes on Decisive presentation by Chip and Dan Heath

  1. 1. 1Notes on DecisiveBy Thu Nguyenhttp://www.bloggingfor.infoRead more about the book at: by Dan HeathMay 16, 2013, Chicago, IL, 3PMThe 4 Part ProcessWiden Your OptionsReality-Test Your AssumptionsAttain Distance Before DecidingPrepare To Be Wrong How can we stop the cycle of agonizing over our decisions? How can we make group decisions w/o destructive politics? How can we ensure that we don’t overlook preciousopportunities to change our course?
  2. 2. 2IntroProfound choicesEx: Smoot-Hawley TariffThere are more baddecisions than good: Retirement Tattoo removal Love Medical Birdwatching and now … Angry Birds What’s wrong?How can we do better? Both professionally and personally It’s practical Not complex with confusing spreadsheets/analysisWe need a process to protect us from the traps.
  3. 3. 3The Villians of Decision-Makingo Narrow Framingo Confirmation Biaso Short-Term Emotiono OverconfidenceThe solution to each villain is found through WRAP.The WRAP ProcessWiden Your OptionsReality-Test AssumptionsAttain Some DistancePrepare To Be Wrong
  4. 4. 4Widen Your OptionsQuaker buying Snapple(see older campaigns)Studied teenager’s decisionWhether ‘or’ notPaul Nutt research with organizational decisions Only 29% considered alternatives (narrow framing)What to do to widen your options?Fall in love twice!Think ‘and’ not ‘or’
  5. 5. 5Reality-Test AssumptionsWhen something goes wrong, you’ll often ask yourself:How could something like this happen?The confirmation bias seeks for data to support yourather than data that contradicts.Data ThatSupportsMeData ThatContradictsMe
  6. 6. 6Dan’s story with getting funding for Thinkwell …His advisor’s advice:Nobody’s going to tell you that your baby is ugly.Most of the time, you think you’re looking for truth,but it’s assurance.Data doesn’t help.You’ll ‘cook the books.’How to counteract ‘cooking the books’Ooching (try it)Test, not guess
  7. 7. 7Attain Some DistanceTrust your gut (a common advice)Dan’s Cheesecake Factory storyThe Ultimate Red Velvet Cake for dessert= 3 McD’s cheeseburger + a pack of SkittlesTrust your gut?Harry Potter book ideaRejected 7 times before it was publishedDid these publishers trust their gut?Listen to your gut but stay skepticalShort-term is unreliableLong-term more reliableThink about it this way:Emotions that fade and emotions that lasts
  8. 8. 8Ex: Calling someone you’ve only spoke with onceYou versus your friend’s adviceYou waiting versus your friend’s idea to callThe Power of AdviceOurselves – we get lost in the treesFriends – we see the forestGet your quick answersAsk yourself:What would you tell your best friend to do?If you were fired or replaced what would you tell your successor?
  9. 9. 9Prepare To Be WrongMotion once maintained stays in orbitDecisions made also stay madeLearn to snap awake at the right momentsA warning light  Tripwires (time to act)Case Study: David Lee Roth of Van Halen Strategically made concert operations safety public This improved engineering and sound checks Same time when Michael Jackson’s hair set on fireThe M&M tripwireArticle 126 in contract – ‘no brown M&Ms’If found, a complete line check was required
  10. 10. 10Last ThoughtsDecisions when wrong It’s predictable Awareness doesn’t workThe ProcessBecomes a safety roadA harnessMakes you bolderEmail Dan Heath at