General Comments And Summary On Decision-Making

- most people are reluctant to change plans, even where there is compelling evidence that they should, ie sunken cost bias, ie a reluctance to abandon a plan of fear of wasting the time and resources already committed. This is most obvious when a decision maker has a vested interest in a particular solution succeeding

- people are overly optimistic and positive about outcomes

- people are most effective when working in an environment that they are familiar with and working alongside people they know

- most people are not good at recognizing when they are over-loaded

- people need to learn more from personal experience and mistakes

- knowing personal details of people you work with helps

- people prefer action rather than preparation

- people take on too much responsibility and micromanage

. In summary

"...a decision is a judgment. It is a choice between alternatives. It is really a choice between right and wrong......but much more often a choice between two courses of action, neither of which is probably more nearly right than the other......executives who make defective decisions know that one does not start with facts. One starts with opinions. These are, of course, nothing but untested hypotheses and, as such, are worthless unless tested against reality. To determine what is the fact requires first a decision on the criteria of relevance, especially on the appropriate measurement......there are not facts unless one has a criteria of relevance. Events by themselves are not facts......everyone is prone......to look for facts that fit the conclusions they have already reached. And no one has ever failed to find facts he is looking for......perhaps the critical question here is, what is the criteria of relevance. This, more often than not, turns on the measurement appropriate to the matter under discussion and to the decision to be reached......traditional measurement reflects yesterday's decision......the best way to find the appropriate measurement is to go out and look for feedback......events are measured in averages......but they are meaningless, indeed misleading, for......management decisions......finding the appropriate measurement is thus not a mathematical exercise. It is a risk-taking judgment. Whenever one has to judge, one must have alternatives from which to choose.......Only if there are alternatives can one hope to get insight into what is truly at stake.......It becomes clear that a decision requires courage as much as it requires judgment......There is no inherent reason why decisions should be distasteful - but most effective ones are..."

Peter Drucker, 2001

(sources: Peter Drucker, 2001; Helen Trinca, 2007a; Rachel Nickless, 2010a)

 

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