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The Art of Critical Decision Making | [The Great Courses]

The Art of Critical Decision Making

Learn to approach the critical decisions in your life with a more seasoned, educated eye with this fascinating 24-lecture series that explores how individuals, groups, and organizations make effective decisions. The heart of this accessible series is a thorough examination of decision making at three key levels. First, you'll look at decisions made at the individual level, where, among the many things you'll learn is that intuition is more than just a gut instinct and, in fact, represents a powerful pattern recognition capability.
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Publisher's Summary

Learn to approach the critical decisions in your life with a more seasoned, educated eye with this fascinating 24-lecture series that explores how individuals, groups, and organizations make effective decisions. The heart of this accessible series is a thorough examination of decision making at three key levels. First, you'll look at decisions made at the individual level, where, among the many things you'll learn is that intuition is more than just a gut instinct and, in fact, represents a powerful pattern recognition capability. Then, you'll explore decisions made at the group level, where you'll try to answer the question of whether groups are "smarter" and more capable of making critical decisions than individuals. And finally, you'll pull back to analyze organizational decision making, in which Professor Roberto demonstrates how some organizations have encouraged and reliably performed vigilant decision making in the face of risky scenarios.

Whether you're the head of a Fortune 500 company, a government agency, or an everyday household, you constantly make decisions important to you and those immediately around you. These lectures offer you a toolbox of practical knowledge and skills that you can apply to various decisions - whether large or small - in your everyday life and work. Professor Roberto's lively lectures are packed with useful anecdotes, tools, and advice designed to improve your own ability to make informed decisions. As you explore the intriguing process of making a good decision, you'll strengthen your grip on individual theories of decision making and the situations that illustrate them.

Disclaimer: Please note that this recording may include references to supplemental texts or print references that are not essential to the program and not supplied with your purchase.

©2009 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2009 The Great Courses

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    PHIL San Diego, CA, United States 09-15-13
    PHIL San Diego, CA, United States 09-15-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very rewarding, fulfilling its promise"

    This work is clear, well-structured, well-paced, and understandable. It moves fluidly between practical pointers (sometimes checklist-like, with nice summaries) and examples that keep it moving nicely. I admire the work of a professor who has obviously invested plenty of time, thought and experience into making such a crafted and polished product. I have read other books in this area (most recently "Guide to Decision Making" by H. Drummond here at audible), and I do like to sample around, but this one for me is head and shoulders above anything I've seen. Plugging these suggestions in to current decisions (alone or with others) makes me feel more like I am flying with "instruments" versus guessing with gaping (unknown) blind spots. Yet, the approach is not "paint by numbers:" good human reckoning is still required, but augmented with the assistance of various guides, reminders and prompts along the way. I'm sure I will listen through this one again.

    16 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mc2 Monument, CO, US 12-29-13
    mc2 Monument, CO, US 12-29-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good course but broad brushes a lot"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The political and PR POV were glossed over, especially in the Shuttle disasters.

    Richard Feynman's analysis stated that management inexplicably believed the probability of failure to be 1000 times less than their working engineers. Feynman concludes "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled"

    The Shuttle disaster was more than poor decision making. It bordered on a cavalier incompetence by management but the course painted the management in a much better light.

    Case studies have strengths and weaknesses because what is presented is only what supports the conclusion. The shuttle disaster are but one. Having read some of the analysis on these events, I think that the course really misses the mark here and Incredibly, partially blamed the engineer for not making a better case!


    What did you like best about this story?

    The last part of the course had good material. In the end it emphasized techniques to ferret out problems that can be solved earlier vs later.It provided techniques that will help foster discussion, debate and result in better decisions


    What about Professor Michael A. Roberto’s performance did you like?

    Very good performance although there was a tendency at times to use straw man arguments.


    Was The Art of Critical Decision Making worth the listening time?

    Very good course. Offered a lot of very good ideas and techniques to combat group think and other decision making pitfalls.


    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aaron Miami, FL, United States 02-10-14
    Aaron Miami, FL, United States 02-10-14 Member Since 2011
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    "Well Structured..."
    What made the experience of listening to The Art of Critical Decision Making the most enjoyable?

    The topic was well researched with the author referencing several different sources/case studies to support the points being made, both positive and negative. The material was well-balanced.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Art of Critical Decision Making?

    Understanding why decisions fail.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Nothing in particular.


    What did you learn from The Art of Critical Decision Making that you would use in your daily life?

    Too much to mention.


    Any additional comments?

    The cheezy classical music and the clapping between chapters were very annoying. It made the author appear very needy, pathetic even. If I came across that during the preview before purchasing I would have definitely considered not buying it.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ananthan Tampines, Singapore 08-04-13
    Ananthan Tampines, Singapore 08-04-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great book for aspiring leaders"
    Where does The Art of Critical Decision Making rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Top 10 books.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The fireman leader.


    What about Professor Michael A. Roberto’s performance did you like?

    The clear and effective manner of articulation of complex concepts


    What did you learn from The Art of Critical Decision Making that you would use in your daily life?

    To be aware of my biases and manage them in my decision making at my profesional career.


    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas Wake Forest, NC, United States 12-12-13
    Thomas Wake Forest, NC, United States 12-12-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Worthwhile and true to the title"

    The content is based on years of research and presented through means of case studies. It is very well organized and easy to digest as an audio book. It was worth the listen and helpful for developing decision making skills.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brendan Waukegan, IL, United States 10-31-13
    Brendan Waukegan, IL, United States 10-31-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Fundamentally Good"

    I thought the book was fundamentally good. It went a little slowly for me - many of the topics (and even case studies) are covered in more depth in other books, like "Thinking Fast, Thinking Slow." The points he makes are widely applicable, even though many of them seem like common sense.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Douglas Auburn, WA, United States 08-21-13
    Douglas Auburn, WA, United States 08-21-13 Member Since 2008

    College English professor who loves classic literature, psychology, neurology and hates pop trash like Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Good Primer..."

    for much of the material covered in a better book, namely, Malcolm Gladwell's Blink: How To Think Without Thinking. Though Blink is more dynamic and interesting, I would not say that this course should be simply blown off in favor of Gladwell, but rather that it should be used as a preparation for it. There is also additional information and knowledge to be gleaned from this course that one does not find in Blink, and thus, it remains a fine choice on its own merits. Roberto also does a good job of combining business, psychology, cognitive science and sociology to get to the root of what makes for good decision making. Listen to Roberto, and then use what is gotten here to move up to Gladwell.

    9 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LongerILiveLessIKnow Pennsylvania 11-08-13
    LongerILiveLessIKnow Pennsylvania 11-08-13 Member Since 2012
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    "The clapping. Oh, the clapping!"

    I’m on the fence about these “Great Courses.” Each lecture begins with the same snippet of classical music. The kind that (tries to) signal that something sophisticated is about to happen. Each lecture ends with obviously fake clapping. The folks reviewing these “Great Courses” universally have taken notice of how awful it is. Maybe I’m petty for mentioning it, but it made me suspicious of the whole product.

    I listened to this course and another one (by a different professor) on cyber security. Each of these courses shared the same strength: organization/conceptual clarity in surveying the various topics you might expect to find under the topic’s umbrella. But that strength notwithstanding, I struggled to finish both courses. Here, there’s a dumbing down quality; a feeling that Roberto is lecturing to the lowest common denominator. Also, the book’s audible blurb suggests that the course is aimed to help you “approach the critical decisions in your life,” but the material is 99% MBA-type material addressing business/management situations. I was also left with the nagging feeling that Roberto could have delivered the same content in a quarter of the time.

    The Audible environment makes transparent the time commitment the book or lecture commands. Twelve and half hours (or faster if you rev up the audio) spent on this lecture series is twelve and half hours I won’t spend on something else. And so, when it comes to spending future credits – to committing my future listening time – I’m leaning towards picking what’s behind door #2.

    10 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nicholas Grimaldi 06-30-14 Member Since 2004
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    "Very good"
    What did you love best about The Art of Critical Decision Making?

    The content was very good. In fact, I am now going through the book again to take notes.


    What about Professor Michael A. Roberto’s performance did you like?

    This book sticks to the content, rather than repetition, lame stories, or anecdotes.


    Any additional comments?

    I think dry books such as these need to be read at 3x speed. If you've never tried it before, give it 15 to 20 minutes... and see how you like it. I think you will adjust and come to the conclusion I have, that 3x is the only way to go when you are listening to subject matter that can be dry.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dolly Austin, Texas 06-20-14
    Dolly Austin, Texas 06-20-14 Member Since 2014

    Mary

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    "Great ideas, not the best audio"
    Any additional comments?

    This book contains some great ideas. I am glad I listened to the text and definitely gained useful insights. However, the audio reading is not the best. This might be a book better read, if you have the time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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