Chip and Dan Heath, the best-selling authors of Switch and Made to Stick, tackle one of the most critical topics in our work and personal lives: how to make better decisions.
Research in psychology has revealed that our decisions are disrupted by an array of biases and irrationalities: We’re overconfident. We seek out information that supports us and downplay information that doesn’t. We get distracted by short-term emotions. When it comes to making choices, it seems, our brains are flawed instruments. Unfortunately, merely being aware of these shortcomings doesn’t fix the problem, any more than knowing that we are nearsighted helps us to see. The real question is: How can we do better?
In Decisive, the Heaths, based on an exhaustive study of the decision-making literature, introduce a four-step process designed to counteract these biases. Written in an engaging and compulsively listenable style, Decisive takes readers on an unforgettable journey, from a rock star’s ingenious decision-making trick to a CEO’s disastrous acquisition, to a single question that can often resolve thorny personal decisions.
Along the way, we learn the answers to critical questions such as these: How can we stop the cycle of agonizing over our decisions? How can we make group decisions without destructive politics? And how can we ensure that we don’t overlook precious opportunities to change our course?
Decisive is the Heath brothers’ most powerful - and important - book yet, offering fresh strategies and practical tools enabling us to make better choices. Because the right decision, at the right moment, can make all the difference.
©2013 Chip Heath and Dan Heath (P)2013 Random House Audio
I am an avid listener. I listen between 75-100 hours per month on my iPhone: 60% fiction to 40% non-fiction.
The Heath Bothers, authors “Made to Stick” and “Switch” deliver their latest work on how to make better decisions. They offer four major reasons why decisions can run afoul. These include inappropriate problem framing, confirmation bias, and emotional interference and preparation for being wrong. They assert that a process will significantly improve your decision making skills. That is, process plus data improves the odds of a correct decision over data alone. As is their trademark, they come up with a pity pneumonic for their solution WRAP.
I thought the book was pretty good, it had the appropriate level of details and background stories. Earthshaking it was not. The concepts provide a framework for decision making similar to knife skills give you a framework for successful food preparation – without these things, outcomes will be unpredictable and vary. If you are looking for a Tour de Force in decision making, read “Thinking Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman. The Heath brothers even said as much in the initial chapter -- I totally agree.
Certainly, this book is easy to digest and if their advice is implemented, WRAP will lead to better decision making. It is a worthwhile listen but don’t expect shattering new insights. It is solid and worthwhile.
I have read a few books by them and I enjoyed them, this one was a little too in depth
I get it, ask more questions and make sure you have conflicting points of view to make your decision. And quick decisions are never good.... got it.
Unfortunately it was too boring
Learned a little that I'll use along the way
The material in this book is extremely well-developed. I got more useful information out of the introduction than I usually get from an entire book. I listened to the introduction the first day and went away with knowledge that I could use the next day at work.
The topic structure is simple enough so that you can memorize the key points – important for material you plan to use on a daily basis. Yet the authors have compiled so much information and have so many real-life stories to back up each point, which helps the listener internalize them deeply. It is obvious that a lot of work and many years of effort have gone into this.
Kaleo Griffith’s performance has a way of making you feel like each new point is vitally important. It’s very subtle. I didn’t realize until half-way through the book that each time he was about to introduce a new topic, I found myself scrambling for something to write on. I didn’t want to miss anything! He definitely keeps the listener’s attention.
This is one of those books that will change the way you see the world.
The book has a good concept, well narrated but only a good start. It has many stories that I didn't feel provided any insight on better decisions or any tricks. I forgot most of it by now.
Key points to do, checklist
More than half of us live our lives like we are in bumper cars. We just bouce from decision to decision like we are driving bumper cars in total darkness. Our choices will define us in the long-run and this book helps us understand ways to make better decisions. How we view our choices is a critical perspective. Decisive delivers a process to use when we are considering how to decide. The book and the recording will provide a positive impact for persons who are focused on making the best decisions and also provide a great service for those of us who have the awesome responsibilty of helping others make decisions in work and in life.
Read or listen to "18 Minutes" by Peter Bregman & "Made to Stick" & "Switch" by Dan and Chip Heath.
"18 Minutes" is important. Bregman takes the point of view that we make definate decisions about how we spend our time.
"Made to Stick" and "Switch" make good companion reading because the principals they display and describe are valuable concerning how to view decisions. The principal of the elephant and the rider appy in "18 Minutes" and in "Decision".
I like to read the book on my Kindle (or hard copy) and listen at the same time. This gives me the 'see and the hear' at the same time. It keeps me on track and I enjoy the book best this way. This helps people like me stay focused.
I think the book could have been better written. The solutions were made to fit the acronym WRAP (widen the options, reality test your assumptions, attain some distance, and prepare to be wrong). However, the book provides stories of good decisions and bad decisions that didn't fit neatly into one of those four steps. It is a good read for learning how to make better decisions. Unfortunately, it just wasn't structured well. It didn't have a good outline of the various approaches to good decision-making, which would have helped the listener in retaining the information.
The Heath brothers do an excellent job at walking you through the decision process and give you helpful and practical suggestions on ways to make decisions differently. The Brown M&Ms story was interesting and I have used it at work already.
One of the top audio's I have heard this year. So many great actionable advice on decision making provided in an engaging format. While it is hard to remember all of them you don't have to. They have the main points summarized on-line for those who purchase their audio. While I have heard bits and pieces of many of these ideas in other audio books this one brought the best ones together and was able to expand on them. If you enjoyed their previous work (Made to Stick or Switch) then you will not be disappointed by Decisive. Unlike many other authors each book is very different and they do not repeat themselves.
I recommended this book to a friend of mine who has trouble making decisions.
I have not. I think I was generous giving the narration a 5 star review. It was 4 stars. He does not enhance the content of the book, but he represents it well and was easy to listen to.
If you make good decisions all the time, you'll have no use for this book. If you're like most of us humans, you should listen to it. It's very helpful without being preachy. It's very informative and educational without being dry. I'm a better decision maker for having listened to this book and I think anyone else could say the same after they listen to it or read it.
Contagious by Jonathan Berger
Give and Take by Adam Grant
Switch by Chip and Dan Heath
Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
Wonderful framework to ensure that you don't get trapped in making decisions.
Practical and empirically sound advice.
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