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Decisive: How to Make Better Decisions Paperback – 6 Feb 2014


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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Business (6 Feb 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847940862
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847940865
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.1 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 38,627 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

Bestselling authors Chip and Dan Heath show you how to overcome your brain's natural shortcomings and make better decisions. Winner in the Practical Manager category of the CMI Management Book of the Year awards 2014.

From the Back Cover

Decisions, decisions, decisions. You’re faced with hundreds of them every day – thousands even. But how can you know if you’re making the right ones?

In Decisive, best-selling authors Chip and Dan Heath draw on decades of psychological research to explain why we so often get it very badly wrong – why our supposedly rational brains are frequently tripped up by powerful biases and wishful thinking. At the same time they demonstrate how relatively easy it is to avoid the pitfalls and find the best answers, offering four simple principles that we can all learn and follow.

In the process, they show why it is that experts frequently make mistakes. They demonstrate the perils of getting trapped in a narrow decision frame. And they explore people’s tendency to be over-confident about how their choices will unfold. Drawing on case histories as diverse as the downfall of Kodak and the inspiring account of a cancer survivor, they offer both a fascinating tour through the workings of our minds and an invaluable guide to making smarter decisions.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Robert Morris TOP 500 REVIEWER on 26 Mar 2013
Format: Hardcover
Those who have read one or more of Chip and Dan Heath's previously published books already know that they are master raconteurs as well as keen observers of human nature in general and of the business world in particular. I also view them as anthropologists whose scope and depth of knowledge enable them to create a multi-dimensional context for the information, insights, and counsel they provide. In this instance, as their latest book's subtitle correctly indicates, they share what they have learned about "how to make better choices in life and work."

All of those who read this book make several dozen (sometimes several hundred) decisions each week, most of which are based on past experience, custom, habit, etc. However, there are some decisions that are very challenging, perhaps even daunting. What to do? The heaths recommend and explain what they characterize as the WRAP process: Widen Your Opinions, Reality-Test Your Assumptions, Attain Distance Before Deciding, and Prepare to Be Wrong. "We want to make you a bit better at making good decisions, and we want to help you make good decisions a bit more decisively (with appropriate confidence, as opposed to overconfidence). We also want to make you a better adviser to your colleagues and loved ones who are making decisions, because it's usually easier to see other people's biases than your own." The Heaths succeed brilliantly in achieving those objectives.

They ensure that the insights they share are especially sticky by making skillful use of several reader-friendly devices that include a "Chapter X in One Page" section in Chapters 1-12. Also, three Clinics on decision making ("Should a Small Company Sue a Bigger Competitor?" "Should a young Professional Move to the City?" and "Should We Discount Our Software?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 31 July 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are looking for a book that is on the deep theory behind decision science, computational methods or analytics then this probably is not for you.

However if you are looking for a text that could become a well thumbed guide to help you make better decisions or help others to make better decisions then this could be very helpful.

One of the few books that has a clearly defined process on how to make better decisions along with analysis about why we make poor decisions, based on well researched and current thinking from a wide range of fields. It brings together a whole collection of techniques & approaches under a very simple and memorable acronym of WRAP, For those who need more theory extensive end notes and bibliography could be very helpful in deeper searches. The authors intent is that more and more people make better decisions in work, life & society and after reading this book I think many will.

Only one negative for me...its so filled with content its a chunky book...but then maybe I need to make a better decision to buy a kindle.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By G on 1 Oct 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I love this book! It is easy to understand and highlights a lot of traps we may fall into when it comes to decision making in our work and personal life. I would recommend this book to anybody who has had sleepless nights over trying to decide the right course of action in a particulate situation. This book will be invaluable to both business and personal life because when it comes to decision making we all want to to be in the best possible position to make the right one.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 18 April 2013
Format: Paperback
"But with righteousness He shall judge the poor,
And decide with equity for the meek of the earth;" -- Isaiah 11:4 (NKJV)

I didn't run into the decision literature until the end of law school. My reaction was to think that this was the first time I'd learned anything practical since elementary school. I still feel that way.

Much of what has been written about making decisions is hard to follow, has too many graphs, employs too many unusual methods, and requires too much math. The Heath brothers break through those limitations to spell out the key lessons in simple language, explain what they mean with easy-to-understand examples, and provide things to avoid and do that are easy to implement correctly. If you get a little lost, the excellent one-page summaries at the end of each chapter will soon set you right.

I've decided to use this book in the future as the starting point for teaching my business students how to make better decisions. This book will bless them. I started applying the book with one student this last week, and I was delighted to see how much he gained from beginning to apply the directions.

The book is built around four typical problems with the way most people make decisions:

1. The first choice encountered is studied in terms of do or not do, rather than looking around for what better alternatives might exist. Instead, force yourself to widen your choices (with many suggestions for how to do so), study a variety of options at the same time to get a better feel for the issue, find successful examples and people who have already succeeded in finding and choosing a good option and learn from them.

2.
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