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Decision Quality. Value Creation from Better Business Decisions

  • ID: 3335859
  • Book
  • 256 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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"No one has coached more businesses through high–stakes strategic decisions than Carl Spetzler and the team at SDG. If you′re looking for wisdom on making better decisions in your business, you′ve come to the right place."
CHIP & DAN HEATH, Bestselling CoAuthors including Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work

"An excellent guide for consultants, technical experts, and program managers to achieve the most impact from their work."

"From beginning to end, this book underscores the business benefits that accrue from investing in decision quality processes. The authors offer actionable steps that leaders can take to check biases rooted in deeply held beliefs, and steer their organizations toward better value creation."
PHILIP E. TETLOCK, PhD, Bestselling Author including Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction

"A clear ′must read′ for everyone in a leadership position."
GERARD KLEISTERLEE, Chairman, Vodafone Group Plc

"Implementing the decision quality processes described in this book should become the ′new normal′ for all organizations and their leaders."
CHINA GORMAN, Former CEO, Great Place to Work Institute

"The authors deliver an approach and philosophy that can provide an immediate and positive impact on personal and business decisions. Books that achieve this in such a readable format are rare indeed acquiring a copy could be the first in a series of quality decisions!"
ANDREW EVANS, MBA, Unilever; Fellow, Society of Decision Professionals

"A very savvy, sorely needed systematic approach to making uncertainty an integral dimension of the questions we ask and the answers we seek. Their strategy shows you how to judge the quality of your decisions without knowing or relying on outcomes that may or may not be a reflection of the actual decision process."
ROBERT A. BURTON, MD, Bestselling Author including On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When You′re Not

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Acknowledgments xiii

Preface xv

PART I The Decision Quality Framework 1

1 The Power of Decisions 3

Decision Quality: A Framework for Better Decisions 4

Decision Skills Can Be Learned 5

Decisions versus Outcomes 6

Key Points to Remember 8

Endnotes 9

2 The Requirements for Decision Quality 11

The Appropriate Frame 13

Creative Alternatives 13

Relevant and Reliable Information 14

Clear Values and Tradeoffs 15

Sound Reasoning 16

Commitment to Action 16

Judging the Quality of a Decision 17

Key Points to Remember 19

Endnotes 19

3 Getting to Decision Quality 21

Declaring the Need for a Decision 21

Setting the Decision Agenda 23

Understanding the Destination of Decision Quality 23

Avoiding Decision Traps and Biases 24

Designing the Decision Process through Diagnosis 25

Tailoring to Fit the Decision 30

Key Points to Remember 32

Endnotes 33

PART II The Six Requirements for DQ 35

4 The Appropriate Frame 37

A Friday Afternoon Dilemma 37

The Key Components of a Frame 39

Framing the Friday Afternoon Dilemma 41

An Extended Example: The House Decision 42

Developing an Appropriate Frame 43

The Decision Hierarchy: A Tool for Framing 44

Things That Can Go Wrong 46

Judging the Quality of a Decision Frame 47

Key Points to Remember 49

Endnotes 49

5 Creative Alternatives 51

Characteristics of Good Alternatives 53

The Strategy Table: A Tool for Defining Alternatives 56

Things That Can Go Wrong 57

Judging the Quality of Alternatives 60

Key Points to Remember 63

Endnotes 64

6 Relevant and Reliable Information 65

Information from a Decision Perspective 65

An Extended Example: Michael s Job Choice 67

Structuring the Relevant Information in a Decision 68

The Decision Tree: A Tool for Structuring a Decision 68

What Is Reliable? 72

Things That Can Go Wrong 74

Judging the Quality of Information 75

Key Points to Remember 78

Endnotes 79

7 Clear Values and Tradeoffs 81

Values and Tradeoffs for Decisions 82

Michael s Values and Tradeoffs 82

Values in a Business Context 85

Making Tradeoffs in Business Decisions 86

Things That Can Go Wrong 88

Judging the Quality of Values 89

Key Points to Remember 91

Endnotes 91

8 Sound Reasoning 93

Reasoning for Michael s Job Decision 94

Reasoning in More Complex Decisions 97

The Relevance Diagram: A Tool for Structuring Complex Decisions 97

The Decision Model: A Tool for Analyzing Complex Decisions 98

The Tornado Diagram: A Tool for Displaying the Relevance of Information 99

Flying Bars: A Tool for Displaying Overall Uncertainty 102

Things That Can Go Wrong 103

When to Get Help with Reasoning 104

The Power of Iterating from a Simple Start 105

Judging the Quality of Reasoning 105

Key Points to Remember 109

Endnotes 110

9 Commitment to Action 111

Two Mindsets: Decision and Action 111

Commitment through Participation and Ownership 113

Conscious Commitment 115

Things That Can Go Wrong 115

Judging the Quality of Commitment to Action 117

Key Points to Remember 119

PART III How to Achieve DQ 121

10 Biases and Traps in Decision Making 123

Mechanisms of the Mind 123

Protection of Mindset 126

Personality and Habits 128

Faulty Reasoning 130

Automatic Associations and Relative Thinking 133

Social Influences 137

Summing Up 138

Endnotes 139

11 Megabiases that Undermine DQ 143

DQ and Megabiases 144

Megabias #1: Narrow Framing 144

Megabias #2: The Illusion of DQ 147

Megabias #3: The Agreement Trap 149

Megabias #4: The Comfort Zone Megabias 150

Megabias #5: The Advocacy/Approval Myth 152

General Guidelines for Avoiding Megabiases 154

Endnotes 154

12 Achieving Quality in Strategic Decisions 157

The Dialogue Decision Process 158

Four Phases of Dialogue 161

Every Decision Situation Is Different 163

Advantages of the DDP 164

13 Achieving Quality in Significant Decisions 169

The DQ Appraisal Cycle: Iterating Our Way to DQ 170

The DQ Appraisal Cycle in Action: Robin s Career Crossroads 176

Summing Up 187

PART IV The Journey to DQ 189

14 The Amoco Unleaded Gasoline Decision 191

Getting Started on the Unleaded Decision 194

Seeking Greater Clarity on the Key Uncertainty 196

Competing Reports 198

The Bottom Line 201

Decades of Experience in Improving Value 202

Endnote 203

15 Building Organizational Decision Quality 205

Organizational DQ 207

The Components of ODQ 207

Reaching ODQ 209

Chevron s Journey to ODQ 212

Taking the First Step 213

Endnote 214

16 Embarking on the DQ Journey 215

What Next? 216

References 219

About the Authors 223

Index 225

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Carl Spetzler
Hannah Winter
Jennifer Meyer
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