I recently finished “Think Again: Why Good Leaders Make Bad Decisions and How to Keep it From Happening to You” and it is my favorite business book of the year so far. Sydney Finkelstein and his co-authors, Jo Whitehead and Andrew Campbell, systematically dissect why we sometimes make and carry through terrible business decisions–whether it’s a poor acquisition decision, an ill-fated product redesign, or even deciding to park our money with Bernie Madoff or Allen Stanford. Even better, they let us know how to create structures that identify possibly faulty decisions in order to avoid them or, at minimum, monitor their outcomes carefully so bad ones can be reversed as quickly as possible.
Syd is a clear, engaging speaker, and was a delight to have on the podcast. Listen in for a 20-minute lesson on how we decide and how we can decide better. The podcast file is here.
0:33 – Why studying decisions gone wrong is interesting and useful
1:05 – How our brain’s evolution impacts sound decisionmaking
2:35 – Has the complexity of our businesses outpaced our brain’s ability to keep up?
3:38 – Four red-flag conditions indicating possible faulty decisionmaking
8:03 – Decision-affecting attachments to people, ideas, things
9:20 – Important decisionmaking process safeguards
For more information, you can access a web site with more resources about “Think Again.”