Decision Making

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Is optimization your crutch?

August 13, 2010

If you can measure it, you can improve it. You can optimize. But how much of your energy are you spending on optimization vs. creation? Seth Godin, a thought leader in marketing and the changing business environment, says, “I worry that a never-ending cycle of optimization can become a crutch, a place to hide when you really should be confronting the endless unknown, not the banal stair step of incremental optimization.”

Fly or abort? Ask yourself 3 questions

July 9, 2010

Fighter pilot Rob “Waldo” Waldman had survived six-hour combat missions in Iraq and Kosovo, so he figured that ferrying an F-16 from Spain to South Carolina was no big deal. Right? Wrong. The problem was 3,500 miles of ocean and Waldman had claustrophobia. Fly or abort?

The theory behind ‘quantum ideas’

July 9, 2010

Physicist Gerald Harris uses the study of quantum mechanics, or the action of tiny particles, to shed light on decision-making. As with many unconventional thinkers, Harris winds up with a set of questions he calls “quantum ideas.” Here are some of his more accessible ones:

A flexible strategy at Office Depot

April 12, 2010

Strategic planning has always accounted for changing circumstances. But leaders have now shifted their planning habits to allow for on-the-fly adjustments. For example, Office Depot began updating its annual budget monthly at the start of 2009. “This downturn has changed the way we will think about our business,” says Steve Odland, Office Depot’s chairman and chief executive.

Emotional intelligence: Turn regret into a positive force

December 11, 2009

Research from the University of Victoria shows that most people hold regret in high regard, partly because it helps them make sense of things and fix them. In a weird way, it also feels good. Advances in neuroscience show that we learn better with an emotional connection. Regret may help us grow. Three guidelines on using regret:

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