The Art and Science of Decision Making

ideaAre you a decision maker? Of course you are. If not for a major corporation or start-up, at least for your family or your own life. Do you want to get face-to-face with the big decision maker who can improve your life and business? Look in the mirror.

This blog is dedicated to all those who want to take charge by being a more effective decision maker. I look forward to conversations about techniques and stumbling blocks. What kinds of decisions do you struggle with? What makes them so hard? What techniques have you found to leap over those hurdles?

Being an effective decision maker helps you make the best choices, but more than that, it lets you decide what the choices are and, in fact, what problem is being solved. More than anything else, it puts you in charge of your life and your business. It is probably the most important skill for success.

So why does everybody hate making decisions? You never hear anyone say, “Yay! I have a decision to make!” Decisions are seen as stumbling blocks rather than opportunities. I have some of my own ideas on that, but I’d love to hear from you.

Decision-making is both art and science. There is an entire discipline of decision science. You can get a degree in it. Decision science teaches you how to maximize the expected value of your utility function. What does that mean? How does this apply to real people making real decisions? I hope to cut through the mumbo-jumbo and pull out techniques that you can really use.

Decision science often focuses on making a choice among alternatives, yet being an effective decision maker requires much more than this. This is where the art comes in. What is the most important problem to be solved? What are the alternatives? What does the future hold? What about all these conflicting goals? To do this well requires both courage and imagination. Pep talks help, but specific tools and techniques are better.

My goal in this blog is to hit the sweet spot between the arcane mathematical theories of decision science and the fuzzy motivational techniques of the “reach for the stars” variety–simple but powerful techniques to help real people formulate and make real decisions. I hope to hear from you.

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