Flip a coin to make your next decision?


Have you ever wondered why some decisions work out great and others don’t?  In fact, you may have noticed that it seems like a 50/50 proposition – a coin flip.  Truth is, according to research conducted by Paul Nutt, professor at Ohio State University; decisions really do fail about half the time!

Why do decisions fail?  Several mistakes are made early that increase the risk of a failed decision.  See if you can identify any of the following in your workplace or in past decisions that have gone bad:

  • Commonly known decision-making practices are not employed (occurs in 2 out of 3 decisions).
  • Premature commitment to an idea (a key cause of failure).
  • Substantial investments are made to defend an idea (usually to protect one person’s idea)

These blunders or mistakes become the fertile ground for 7 traps that decision-makers invariably encounter.  Because making a decision is future-oriented, no approach can be fool-proof, however, there are things that every decision maker can do to side-step the blunders and avoid the traps and dramatically improve the odds of making a good decision.  In Paul Nutt’s book, Why Decisions Fail, he details the results of his extensive research and outlines how to avoid each blunder and trap.  If you don’t like 50/50 odds and want to improve decision making in your organization, you’ll want to explore this further.

You can find the book at your favorite bookseller or there is an excellent summary of the book available from Soundview Book Summaries.

What are you doing to fall into decision traps at your company?


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