Making Smart Decisions - Harvard Business School

Making Smart Decisions - Harvard Business School

No more mistakes! Become a better decision maker and solve your problems quickly with the help of the writers from Harvard Business School.

The book "Making Smart Decisions", by Harvard Business School, offers managers and executives strategies that assist in making big choices in the business environment and, consequently, get better results for the organization.

You have to be sure of your potential and trust your instincts because the business world requires important decisions daily.

Facing this challenge is not easy, but don't worry! Keep reading this PocketBook and get more background to make good decisions.

About the book "Making Smart Decisions"

"Making Smart Decisions" is a book that is part of Harvard Business School's Results Oriented Management Series. The edition has 192 pages and was published by Harvard Business Review Press on 12 March 2013.

Filled with insights and techniques to improve your performance at work and get quick results, this book will help you in the business world.

About the author Harvard Business School

Harvard Business School has a Results Oriented Management Series with articles from various Harvard writers. This proposal emerged to help managers increase the effectiveness of processes and to be better leaders.

The institution has other books about business, management, people, and leadership, such as:

To whom is this book indicated?

"Making Smart Decisions" it is indicated for leaders of companies who seek to become better decision makers and optimize their performance.

Main ideas of the book "Making Smart Decisions"

  • How to choose the most appropriate process for making decisions;
  • Know where to look for more compelling information to make a more structured choice;
  • Identifying mistakes and misunderstandings in past decisions is important to prevent them from recurring;
  • Why you should trust your intuition.

The writers from Harvard Business School will teach you how to solve problems quickly, learn from your errors, and help you make effective decisions.

Let's start?

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[Book Summary] Making Smart Decisions - Harvard Business School

Overview: Use the right process to make decisions

A leader is always going through decision-making. Being in simple business situations or even in great moments of caution and ethics.

There are many processes for making a choice. How do you know which is the right way? And how do you know what kind of judgment you can be a part of?

The first part of the book "Making Smart Decisions" starts with an article by the business columnist Loren Gary. He outlines six steps to guide you to make a simple decision within the company:

  1. Define the problem;
  2. Identify the criteria;
  3. Ponder the criteria;
  4. Think of alternatives;
  5. Evaluate the alternatives generated for each criterion;
  6. Record the best decision.

How to determine which one is right? Observe the best value alternative corresponding to your choice.

For deeper decisions that demand ethical questions, Professor Jeffrey Seglin, from Harvard Business School, recommends that you consider:

  • Whether and why this decision bothers you;
  • To whom else it matters;
  • If this decision should be yours;
  • The ethical issues involved;
  • The opinion of others on the subject;
  • If you stay true to yourself with this decision.

Overview: Apply powerful decision tactics

There are possible methods that you can apply to improve the certainty of your decision.

The next writer of Harvard Business School, Paul Michelman, helps you to skillfully evaluate the information you have regarding taking action:

  • Listen to qualified and best-placed people in the company. That way, you will have a wider and more secure range of information;
  • When choosing an alternative, you have to understand and take into account the culture and values of the company;
  • Decision-making also depends on the leader's self-knowledge.

Nick Morgan suggests that you don't let other people lead you to a hasty choice. Lauren Keller Johnson, for her part, highlights in the book "Making Smart Decisions" the importance of effective communication to make more sensible selections.

Overview: Combating cognitive deviations

Every decision of a leader can have certain misconceptions. It is necessary to pay attention to the line of thought in order not to miss out on any detail.

According to the book "Making Smart Decisions", you have to avoid any obstacles that compromise the success of your choice.

Loren Gary says that when we make decisions often, we tend to remember recent situations that are easy to redeem. This can be a slip-up.

The Harvard's writer recommends that you review the set of data at hand and ask yourself if you are actually doing it.

Journalist John Hintze explains why we sometimes make bad decisions. He says that the leader should do a routine audit and make a list of errors.

Finally, David Stauffer provides some important tactics:

  • Examine which precedents are relevant or not for decision-making;
  • Ask others to challenge possible inconsistencies in your thinking;
  • Your decision should not be based only on historical precedents;
  • Discipline is very important to choose an alternative with relevant precedents.

Overview: Stimulate your intuition

David Stauffer says that the speed of change means that leaders don't have much time to critically analyze the situation. However, if they take advantage of their intuition, they will be able to make decisions that demand agility.

In addition, he gives some tips to explore your intuition:

Trusting your own intuition helps you a lot to make a quality selection. To wrap up the book "Making Smart Decisions", Andrew Grove, president and co-founder of Intel, shares some of his views.

He says that intuition can guide you to know "what" you should do. And information guides you on "how" you should do it. Together, they are a great team to make the best decisions.

What do other authors say about it?

In "The Prince", Machiavelli explains that it is important to know every weapon, its pros and cons, because each one will be used in a certain situation and, from that, it will bring different results.

In the book "The Art of War", the importance of information is constantly addressed by author Sun Tzu, as well as the relevance of having this knowledge in advance, promoting a competitive advantage.

Finally, in the book "Life Changing Secrets", by Napoleon Hill, Joseph Murphy, and Dale Carnegie, there are several lessons about success - which is linked to a personal plan that have to be carried out using the powers of the human subconscious.

Okay, but how can I apply this to my life?

  • Try to apply other approaches to make decisions if you are not satisfied with your results;
  • Make sure that the people who decide have the necessary information to do so;
  • Explore more alternatives to solve your problem. Open the array of options;
  • List the cognitive deviations that occur most often;
  • Develop the ability to trust your intuition.

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To know more about the tips of the writers of Harvard Business School, you can buy the complete book by clicking on the image below:

Book “Making Smart Decisions”

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