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The Art of Critical Decision Making | [The Great Courses, Michael A. Roberto]

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

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  •  
    Amazon Customer San Jose 05-17-14
    Amazon Customer San Jose 05-17-14 Member Since 2014

    Lifelong Student/Seeker.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Really useful food for thought"

    There is much to say here but I'll limit myself to a brief review. First off, the discussion on cognitive bias alone was worth the price of admission in my opinion. Much more to this series than that though. I intend to listen again. Very interesting from a professional perspective but also I believe these concepts apply to the decisions we make in our personal lives as well.

    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.

    5 of 7 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.

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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.

    13 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aaron 02-10-14
    Aaron 02-10-14 Member Since 2012
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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.

    6 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LongerILiveLessIKnow Pennsylvania 11-08-13
    LongerILiveLessIKnow Pennsylvania 11-08-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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.

    23 of 36 people found this review helpful
  •  
    eric Honolulu, Hi 05-01-14
    eric Honolulu, Hi 05-01-14 Member Since 2015

    Hawaii Stock Coach

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    "Good content, unfortuately not a great experience"
    What disappointed you about The Art of Critical Decision Making?

    The digital study guide I found out can only be purchased if you purchase a digital audio copy from Great Courses. A printed Study Guide can be purchased but not a digital copy. Seems a contradiction


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    The information on Critical Decision Making is well thought out. The examples that the presenter used were they also in the Study Guide-yes, I bought a printed version, it would make the Study Guide, more supportive of the experience and valuable resource.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The process of "sunk cost" where the nature of a sunk cost process overrides many other thought processes of handling risk, and and therefore not allowing for changes when appropriate.


    Any additional comments?

    Content wise, I am very satisfied with the content of the program, Audible, why not arrange that if it is available elsewhere, on their site, (a digital study guide) to make it available on yours.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BrandonF0ster Canada 05-06-15
    BrandonF0ster Canada 05-06-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Enlightening"

    It will change the way you view, find, and attack problems. blame blame and criticism aren't as effective as you thought. Problems don't age well, they get more sour with time. Tell someone!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Queenmum 05-04-15
    Queenmum 05-04-15 Member Since 2011
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    "5 star with a caveat"

    The course got off to a slow start but got more and more compelling. I will probably go back and listen to parts over and over.

    My complaint may sound trivial but it suggests a lack of care and respect for the listener. It is mispronounced words. Sometimes a reader just doesn't know the pronunciation, which is understandable though less so in a
    Professor. Mostly it wasn't much of a problem. However, when a lecture concerns Three Mile Island and the lecturer pronounces nuclear as "nucular" over and over it isn't a mistake it's a choice. I don't know his reasoning but every time he says the word it interrupts concentration on what he's saying. I found myself waiting for it, which is surely not what Prof. Roberto intended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ヽ༼ຈل͜ຈ༽ノ 05-04-15
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    "This book will change your view of decision-making"
    Where does The Art of Critical Decision Making rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is one of the best audiobooks I have listened to thus far.


    What other book might you compare The Art of Critical Decision Making to and why?

    This book reminds me of Robert Greene's "48 Laws of Power," but this book goes into much more detail with real-life case study examples.


    Which character – as performed by Professor Michael A. Roberto – was your favorite?

    This was non-fiction, and the author did not present multiple characters.


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

    The best thing about this book is that its lessons can be applied to any decision one must make. The ideas in this book can literally be used every day.


    Any additional comments?

    I don't give many books the maximum rating, but this one deserves it. Bravo Great Books and Michael A. Roberto!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CHET YARBROUGH LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, United States 04-09-15
    CHET YARBROUGH LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, United States 04-09-15 Member Since 2015

    Faced with mindless duty, when an audio book player slips into a rear pocket and mini buds pop into ears, old is made new again.

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    "CRITICAL DECISION-DECISION MAKING"

    In the Great Courses’ lecture series, Dr. Michael Roberto, characterizes leadership in “The Art of Critical Decision Making”. Roberto’s primary methodology is examination of case studies that range from the Cuban missile crises, to the Daimler/Chrysler merger, to the 9/11/01 Trade Center bombing. He offers perspective on how good decisions can be made when complexity exceeds average to superior individual human capability.

    Roberto’s argument is that a structured participatory process is the most consistently productive form of critical decision-making. Roberto infers, as the world becomes more complex, individual comprehension and patterning of facts becomes less reliable as a form of critical decision-making. His argument relies on leadership structure that insists on communication transparency and qualified freedom. Roberto suggests leaders elicit ideas from engaged people, rather than only experts, in making critical decisions meant to identify problems, proffer solutions, and accomplish goals.

    Leaders need to engage employees whose ideas will be listened to, used, and appreciated rather than abjectly dismissed. Executives, who are more concerned about position than organizational effectiveness, are not leaders. They are cowards.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Bookworm
    UK
    2/14/15
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    "More structure needed"

    Did not meet expectations due to not being consistent throughout, points needed to be summarised and lessons concluded to ensure points are highlighted.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • D. Sawyer
    Lancashire, England
    1/8/15
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    "Superb!"

    This series of audiobooks are really good. They're much more in depth than you'd get on a business masters programme and cover some of the things that you'd be expected to have a grasp of as a thought leader.

    The topics are presented in an in-depth but simple manner so anyone can sit and listen, picking up some fabulous information and great tips.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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