Every book by Chip and Dan Heath is worth reading. They’ve show us ways to make messages memorable (Made To Stick) and make difficult changes (Switch). In Decisive, they tackle the way we make decisions.
Decisive goes on sale today. I saw a webinar with Dan Heath yesterday and listened to a podcast with Chris Brogan. I saw Dan on the tour for Switch.
The Decision ProcessHere is the four step WRAP process:
- Widen your options
- Reality-test your assumptions
- Add distance before deciding
- Prepare to be wrong
Confirmation bias is probably the biggest problem in business, because even the most sophisticated people get it wrong. People go out and they’re collecting the data, and they don’t realize they’re cooking the books.You likely have opinions on
— Dan Lovallo
- the existence of global warming
- the attention spans of kids today
- the merits of fluoride in drinking water
- the need for guns at home
- whether iOS beats Android
Thinking “outside the box” isn’t easy when we are the box. One way is to build a diverse network or team and consider differing opinions early in the process.
An ExampleI've found there are strong opinions about the merits of social media marketing. For instance, “YouTube is now averaging 1 billion monthly users who are streaming a stunning 4 billion hours of content every month” (Forbes, Mar 21, 2013). Is that a call to create video or remain on the sidelines?
The ROI question also arises. Coca Cola finds that online buzz doesn’t lead to online sales — even now, television is more effective (Ad Age, Mar 18, 2013). That’s a “stunning admission” for the #1 brand on Facebook with 61.5 million fans. What conclusion do you draw? Are the results meaningful for what you sell? Is there a trend?
What we want to believe may not be what what's comfortable or true. For years, we’ve been told to Question Authority. Now it’s time to Question Biases too.
DecideI’m confident that Decisive will have solid, practical content that’s easy to apply. It’s on my reading list.
- Decisive: official, Amazon, Goodreads
- Decisively fun time with Dan Heath (Human Business Way podcast 57)
- Confirmation bias can get in the way of smart hiring decisions (ere.net, Mar 20, 2013)
- Confirmation bias: why both sides of the global warming debate are nearly always right (Forbes, Aug 2012)
- Confirmation bias (You Are No So Smart, June 2010)
- Do you only see what you want to see? (Pokhran)
- Confirmation bias (Wikipedia)