Strategic decision-making often requires you to estimate current and future quantities. Here’s a quiz to see how good you are at it. For each quantity below (2009 data unless noted otherwise), make your best guess. Don’t try to find the answers, just guess. World camel population Annual consumption of popped popcorn in the US (quarts) GNP … Continue reading How good are you at estimating?
Can you get fooled by random events? You bet you can. Here’s an interesting example, recounted by Daniel Kahneman in his book Thinking Fast and Slow. A survey of average student test scores at over 1600 schools focused in on the top 50. One item stood out. Of the 50 best schools, 6 were small. … Continue reading Are small schools better?
Which would you rather know, where you are now compared to where you were last month, or where you might be in the future? Personally, I’ll take the view of the future. What might change and how can I prepare? Are there threats? Opportunities? What might I do to make progress and how well might … Continue reading What is…? or What if…?
The answer is obvious, you say? Stick with me here. I wanted to buy a coffee maker that would make one fresh cup at a time, fully automatic and self-cleaning. The obvious choice is the popular Keurig machine, which Amazon is selling for $126.50. Insert a K-cup, push the button and that’s it. The extravagant … Continue reading Which costs less the $130 or the $1700 coffee maker?
What on earth does imagination have to do with decision-making? Yes, it helps you come up with more alternatives, goals and constraints. But then, it’s just a matter of evaluating each of your alternatives against your goals and making a reasoned choice, right? Actually, this is the one step in the decision process in which … Continue reading Imagine that! And that and that and…there’s your answer
Goals are often so lofty that they overwhelm us. The choices seem to be all-out pursuit or nothing. Often we take the “nothing” option rather than face the enormity of the task. Here are some ideas for a broader list of alternatives. As I've said before, you always have more than two options. Try these. … Continue reading Go for the goal! No, it’s too big!
People faced with an opportunity usually figure they have simply a decision of yes or no, take it or don't. The challenge here is to come up with a richer list of alternatives, built around the opportunity and variations of it. As with all decisions, there may be even better options out there if you … Continue reading Opportunity knocks. What do you do?
You always have more than two choices in any decision. A lot of decisions come out of a problem or dissatisfaction. The temptation is to jump in and do something right now, especially if you’re angry. Before you do that, settle down and make a list of possible alternatives that will remove, mitigate, or otherwise … Continue reading Choices for Change
Many of the decisions you face ostensibly have only two choices--often simply yes or no. That makes it easier to consider, but greatly limits your decision-making power. One technique people use to control other people is to offer them limited choices. I used to do this with my daughter when she was young. I'd give … Continue reading You always have more than two options
Last Monday I happened to drive by the local Best Buy and saw tents set up outside, the beginning of the line for Black Friday. I’m sorry I didn’t stop to talk to the people. I’m interested in how people make decisions, of course, and I wondered how they had decided to spend four days … Continue reading Black Friday