Become confident in your choices.
Where should I live? Is it time to get a new job? Which job candidate should I hire? What business strategy should I pursue?
We spend the majority of our lives making decisions, both big and small. Yet, even though our success is largely determined by the choices that we make, very few of us are equipped with useful decision-making skills. Because of this, we often approach our choices tentatively, or even fearfully, and avoid giving them the time and thought required to put our best foot forward.
In Smart Choices, John Hammond, Ralph Keeney, and Howard Raiffa—experts with over 100 years of experience resolving complex decision problems—offer a proven, straightforward, and flexible roadmap for making better and more impactful decisions, and offer the tools to achieve your goals in every aspect of your life.
Their step-by-step, divide-and conquer approach will teach you how to:
• Evaluate your plans
• Break your potential decision into its key elements
• Identify the key drivers that are most relevant to your goals
• Apply systematic thinking
• Use the right information to make the smartest choice
Smart Choices doesn’t tell you what to decide; it tells you how. As you routinely use the process, you’ll become more confident in your ability to make decisions at work and at home. And, more importantly, by applying its time-tested methods, you’ll make better decisions going forward.
Be proactive. Don’t wait until a decision is forced on you—or made for you. Seek out decisions that advance your long-term goals, values, and beliefs. Take charge of your life by making Smart Choices a lifetime habit.
In 1966, the Lovin' Spoonful had a #2 hit with "Did You Ever Have to Make Up Your Mind?" Two years later, Raiffa answered that question for a generation of academics with his book Decision Analysis, whose argument--that decision-making skills can be learned and applied as a discipline of their own--made Raiffa deeply influential in management and social science. Raiffa (a former professor at Harvard Business School), his longtime associate Hammond (a professor of management and engineering at the University of Southern California) and Ralph Keeney (The Art and Science of Negotiation) here explain decision-analysis techniques and stratagems for the benefit of nonspecialists. They provide substantial, straightforward explanations of concepts (risk tolerance, sunk costs, desirability curves) that sound arcane but may help readers to buy the right car, choose a mutual fund, decide on a school, or plan a vacation. Unfortunately, the lingo of self-help often substitutes for the jargon of management consulting, as when Raiffa's famous five decision steps become the trendy acronym PrOACT. And the example problems can seem clich d, two-dimensional or implausible, even when based on fact. Nevertheless, recommendations like "Remember that the value of an incremental change depends on what you start with" and "Make sure your subordinates reflect your organization's risk tolerance in their decisions" are, at the least, good reminders that the logic of decision making is often counterintuitive; at best, they are an important, useful set of insights.