Previously we posted an article introducing firm friend Sean Moynihan and his monthly MBA (Moynihan Book Abstract). Sean is a big reader and lover of business books and he created his own template to give others a glimpse into the “hot and trending” business books. Here is a quick peak at his latest Abstract. If you would like to receive Sean Moynihan’s business book abstracts, write to him at Sean.Moynihan@AvisonYoung.com
How to make better choices in life and work
By Chip Heath & Dan Heath
The WRAP Process
To make better choices, we must avoid the most common decision-making biases. Being aware of these biases isn’t sufficient to avoid them, but a process can help. The WRAP process can help us make better, bolder decisions.
Widen Your Options
Narrow framing leads us to overlook options. (Teenagers and executives often make “whether or not” decisions.) We need to uncover new options and, when possible, consider them simultaneously through multi-tracking. (Think AND, not OR.) Where can you find new options? Find someone who has solved your problem. Try laddering: First look for current bright spots (local), then best practices (regional) and then analogies from related domains (distant).
Reality-Test Your Assumptions
In assessing our options, the confirmation bias leads us to collect skewed, self-serving information. To combat that bias, we can ask disconfirming questions (What problems does the iPod have?). We can also zoom out (looking for base rates) and zoom in (seeking more texture). And whenever possible we should ooch, conducting small experiments to teach us more. Why predict when you can know?
Attain Distance Before Deciding
Short-term emotion tempts us to make choices that are bad in the long term. To avoid that, we need to attain distance by shifting perspective: What would I tell my best friend to do? Or, what would my successor do? (Or try 10/10/10.) When decisions are agonizing, we need to clarify our core priorities—and go on the offensive for them. (Remember the stainless steel bolts on the Navy ship.)
Prepare to be Wrong
We are overconfident, thinking we know how the future will unfold when we really don’t. We should prepare for bad outcomes (premortem) as well as good ones (preparade). And what would make us reconsider our decisions? We can set tripwires that snap us to attention at the right moments. (David Lee Roth’s brown M&M, Zappos’ $1,000 offer)