You're About to Make a Terrible Mistake: How Biases Distort Decision-Making and What You Can Do to Fight Them

You're About to Make a Terrible Mistake: How Biases Distort Decision-Making and What You Can Do to Fight Them

by Olivier Sibony

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Overview

Discover nine common business decision-making traps -- and learn practical tools for avoiding them -- in this "masterful," research-based guide from a professor of strategic thinking. (Daniel Kahneman, author of Thinking, Fast and Slow)

We all make decisions all the time. It's so natural that we hardly stop to think about it. Yet even the smartest and most experienced among us make frequent and predictable errors. So, what makes a good decision? Should we trust our intuitions, and if so, when? How can we avoid being tripped up by cognitive biases when we are not even aware of them?

In You're About to Make a Terrible Mistake!, strategy professor and management consultant Olivier Sibony draws on dozens of fascinating and engaging case studies to show how cognitive biases routinely lead all of us -- including even the most renowned business titans -- into nine common decision-making traps. But instead of rehashing the same old "debiasing" techniques that fail managers time and again, Sibony explains that the best way to avoid the pitfalls of cognitive bias is to craft an effective decision-making architecture in your organization -- a system of techniques and processes that leverage collective intelligence to help leaders make the best decisions possible -- and provides 40 concrete methods for doing so.

Distinctive in the clarity and practicality of its message, You're About to Make a Terrible Mistake! distills the latest developments in behavioral economics and cognitive psychology into actionable tools for making smart, effective decisions in business and beyond.


"Succinct, accurate, and even-handed. I loved it!" (Angela Duckworth, bestselling author of Grit)

"The best, funniest, most useful guide to cognitive bias in business. If you make decisions, you need to read this book." (Safi Bahcall, bestselling author of Loonshots)

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316494977
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 07/14/2020
Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 368,319
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Olivier Sibony is an Affiliate Professor of Strategy at HEC Paris and an Associate Fellow at Saïd Business School, Oxford University. Previously, he spent 25 years in the Paris and New York offices of McKinsey & Company, where he was a senior partner. Sibony's research on improving the quality of strategic decision making has been featured in many publications, including Harvard Business Review and MIT Sloan Management Review. He is a graduate of HEC Paris and hold a PhD from Paris Sciences et Lettres University.

Table of Contents

Introduction: You're About to Make a Terrible Mistake (Unless You Read On) 3

Part 1 The Nine Traps

1 "Too Good Not to Be True" 18

The Storytelling Trap

2 "Steve Jobs Was Such a Genius" 36

The Imitation Trap

3 "I've Seen This Before" 48

The Intuition Trap

4 "Just Do It" 61

The Overconfidence Trap

5 "Why Rock the Boat?" 76

The Inertia Trap

6 "I Want You to Take Risks" 93

The Risk Perception Trap

7 "The Long Term Is a Long Way Off" 108

The Time Horizon Trap

8 "Everyone's Doing It" 120

The Groupthink Trap

9 "I'm Not Thinking of Myself, of Course" 136

The Conflict of Interest Trap

Part 2 Deciding How to Decide

10 Human, All Too Human 150

Are Cognitive Biases the Root of All Evil?

11 Lose a Battle, Win the War 161

Can We Overcome Our Own Biases?

12 When Failure Is Not an Option 174

Collaboration Plus Process

13 A Good Decision Is a Decision Made the Right Way 187

Is Paul the Psychic Octopus a Good Decision Maker?

Part 3 The Decision Architect

14 Dialogue 208

Confronting Viewpoints

15 Divergence 232

Seeing Things from a Different Angle

16 Dynamics 259

Changing Your Decision-Making Processes and Culture

Conclusion 278

You're About to Make Excellent Decisions

Acknowledgments 287

Appendixes 289

Notes 295

Index 317

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