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The Art of High-stakes Decision-making: Tough Calls in a Speed Driven World Hardcover – 9 Nov 2001


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From the Inside Flap

Time is critical . . . the facts are unclear . . . your business, people′s careers, even lives may hang in the balance––and you have to make a decision!

Do you downsize in critical financial times? Should you take your business public or should you hold off? Do you report the unethical behavior of your boss? When it comes to tricky situations like these, flipping a coin just won′t cut it.

The Art of High–Stakes Decision–Making takes the guesswork out of difficult choices with a proven, reliable process for analyzing complex, high–risk decisions. The SCRIPTS method features a set of easy–to–remember steps to structure your decision–making in the face of tough calls.

The power of SCRIPTS is illustrated through dramatic true stories in which real people are pushed to the limits of their decision–making abilities. You′ll meet the brewpub owners who only had a few weeks to decide whether to go public; the airline pilot who suddenly realized that he was flying straight into a mountain; and the general who had a chance to end the American Civil War after only one year of fighting.

Through these stories and many others, you′ll learn how to search for potential problems and opportunities, identify their causes, and assess risks and rewards. You′ll also find out how to use your intuition without letting your emotions short–circuit the process. And you′ll discover how biases may color your attitudes toward particular options, find ways to consider divergent perspectives, and learn how to avoid making hasty decisions–– even when time is short. Plus, this eye–opening guide provides a simple, three–step procedure for putting it all together and making your decision.

Whether you face a crucial career question, a risky opportunity, or a difficult negotiation, The Art of High–Stakes Decision–Making helps you consider all of the relevant factors and make decisions that are timely, confident, and, most importantly, right.

From the Back Cover

Praise for the art of High–Stakes decision–making

"Most of us make great decisions most of the time. The trouble comes when we make poor decisions, and the consequences are serious. Murnighan and Mowen have shown us how to avoid these kinds of disasters. Not only that, they′ve provided us with a wealth of research–based information in a completely engaging way. Their stories and their analysis hit the mark."–– Donald Jacobs, Gaylord Freeman Distinguished Professor of Banking, Dean, J. L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management

"As a CEO for the past twenty–two years, I recognize the value of learning about the tribulations and experiences described very clearly in this book. We can improve our performance by examining the way others managed and mismanaged situations."–– Philip Crosby, author of Quality and Me: Lessons from an Evolving Life

"Employing a novel technique and real–life examples, the authors provide the reader a road map for making high–stake decisions in a complex world. Moreover, because the decision–making process suggested utilizes a uniform procedure and a common language, the technique enhances the prospects for effective communication throughout an organization. Don′t go to the office without it!"–– Dr. William N. Griggs, Partner, Griggs & Santow Inc.

"Murnighan and Mowen offer a fascinating set of real–world examples that can help executives make wiser high–stakes decisions. This intriguing work offers unique insight into executive decisions through its focus on critical decisions, rather than the common decisions that are [usually] the focus of academic work." –– Max Bazerman, Jesse Isidor Straus Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 6 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Simple does not equal simplistic 9 Jun 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I was extremely disappointed with this book. It uses fancy, sophisticated-sounding but still meaningless lingo to describe commonsense everyday issues. Why complicate something what can be described in simple terms? The author fails to understand that simple does not equal simplistic.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Limited real life applicability of SCRIPT methodology 23 Jun 2002
By van_hurstenvelt - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I am in total agreement with the opinion of the reader from Chicago, who rated this book 1 star based on its tendency of overcomplicating straightforward issues in everyday decision making. In addition to this observation, I found that the SCRIPT methodology, the main idea of this book, is only appliacabe to a limited number of decisions and not to ALL as the authors suggest.
From Challenger, Lehman... to Toyota! 1 April 2010
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
"The book clearly validates the widespread belief (internal in most organizations) that it is not any one major decision that leads to catastrophic results from fallacious group think of "so called experts", but a series of small repeated decisions that disregard built in safeguards to prevent even small mishaps.

The situation would be amusing were it not for the fact that it leads to untold tragic consequences for a lot of folks due constant repetition of such behavior by organizational big shots.

The landscape is littered with such stories from NASA, Ford, Xerox, to the latest ones such as Bear Sterns, Lehman, and Toyota, and my own erstwhile employer! Just as the stakes increased rather than take a rational approach to decision making, people doubled down on the high stakes to gamble against the odds to lose it ALL in the end!"
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Fuzzy....fuzzy 5 July 2002
By steven fox - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
i found this book quite fuzzy, although there are excellent books about decision making out there.
Great Book! 30 Oct 2014
By Joe Otis - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I have read this book several times and rate it as one of the best books I have ever read. In fact, I bought a second copy as the first was getting dog-eared from heavy use. Offers great information on how to process information to make infrequent, high stakes decisions. I highly recommend it.
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