As I had enjoyed “Made to Stick” and “Switch” by Heath brothers, I had this book on my to-read list for a long time and I finally read it recently.
Compared to their previous books, I enjoyed this one as much as “Made to Stick” and more than “Switch”. The primary reasons being the exposition is heavily driven by real-world examples and the book presents aspects without being preachy in a brisk and easy-to-read style.
The focus of the book is decisions. Like the headline says, the book talks about aspects that should be considered to make decisions confidently. Here are the list of aspects covered in the book.
- Avoid a narrow frame: consider multiple options
- Multitrack: explore multiple options simultaneously
- Find someone who has solved your problem: tap into other’s experience in similar situation
- Consider the opposite: argue for the possibility that you are not considering
- Zoom out, zoom in: see both forests and trees
- Ooch: do little explorations and experiments
- Overcome short-term emotion: as they say, count till 10 (or 100) and get some distance before deciding
- Honor your core priorities: ensure the decision aligns with your values/priorities
- Bookend the future: consider both the future upside and downside of the choices
- Set a tripwire: identify conditions to retreat from the decision
- Trusting the process
As I read the aspects and the supporting examples, they all seemed intuitive yet I could recollect situations where folks (including myself) failed to consider some of these aspect that could have helped. While a lot to consider, certainly something that can be incorporated with practice and discipline.
Here are few excerpts from the book.
- When you need trustworthy information, go find an expert — someone more experienced than you. Just keep them talking about the past and the present, not the future.
- Entrepreneurs favor active testing: “To the extent that we can control the future, we do not need to predict it.”
- By making decision through experimentation, the best idea can prove itself.
- Conducting a 10/10/10 analysis doesn’t pre-suppose that the long-term perspective is the right one. It simply ensures that short-term emotion isn’t the only voice at the table.
- This is one of the classic tensions of management: You want to encourage people to use their judgment, but you also need your team members’ judgements to be correct and consistent.
- When we identify and enshrine our priorities, our decisions are more consistent and less agonizing.
- Agonizing decisions are often a sign of a conflict among your core priorities.
- The goal (of a decision process) is not to eliminate emotion. It’s to honor the emotions that count.
- To prepare for the lower bookend, we need a premortem. “It’s a year from now. Our decision has failed utterly. Why?”
- To be ready for the upper bookend, we need a preparade. “It’s a year from now. We’re heroes. Will we be ready for success?”
- To prepare for what can’t be foreseen, we can use a “safety factor”.
- Tripwires can be especially useful when change is gradual.
- Tripwires allow us the certainty of committing to a course of action, even a risky one, while minimizing the costs of overconfidence.
- Tripwires can actually create a safe space for risk taking. They: (1) cap risk; and (2) quiet your mind until the trigger is hit.