Making Great Decisions in Business and Life

Forside
Chicago Park Press, 2006 - 287 sider
The phrase "work smarter, not harder" has been repeatedly ridiculed in the Dilbert comic strip and elsewhere, not because it is a bad idea, but because it is thrown like a brick lifesaver to drowning employees. To tell someone to work smarter is like telling someone to be happier, healthier, and richer. It's not much help to merely repeat the objective; what people need is a plan for achieving the objective.In Making Great Decisions, we show our readers how to achieve their objectives. We write to help those in business and those in the business of life--i.e., everyone--to work smarter. Our ideas are both simple and powerful. We offer a better way to look at problems so that the solutions are easier to find. We help supplement our readers' clear thinking by summarizing some of the most powerful techniques we have discovered.Have you ever driven through corn country? From a distance, all you see are corn stalks and more corn stalks in a jumbled mess. Then suddenly, when you get closer, your perspective changes, and you can see down the rows and realize that the corn was planted perfectly in straight lines. Your perception of the crop changes from a messy jumble to a clear picture simply because you're in the right spot. This book puts readers in that ideal spot. So many problems seem like hopeless jumbles but then, when you start using the techniques we discuss here, they start to look as straightforward as the straightest line in an Iowa cornfield.What motivated us to write this book is that, over the years, both of us have regularly come across people in organizations--often bright people with MBAs or other graduate degrees--who don't think they have time, energy, or skills to make good decisions. They have many clues but don't know how to put them together. They regularly face situations that they could analyze with some of the tools they learned in their courses, but they don't realize that. We don't hold ourselves apart from this group, and stories of our successes and failures are sprinkled throughout Making Great Decisions in Business and Life.
 

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Innhold

THINKING WORKS
1
Ronnie Lotts Finger
6
Saving My Fathers Life
7
The Case of the Corporate Printers
9
The Expensive 65 Muffler
10
Turning Lead Into Gold
12
The Dishonest Mortgage Application
13
The Cornfield of Life
15
Reality Versus Fantasy
130
Focus on the Inputs You Control
136
The Lessons Learned
137
CONSCIOUSLY SELECT THE BEST ALTERNATIVE
141
Consequences
144
What Did I Learn?
148
Make Effort Proportional to Importance
149
Options
150

Why We Mix Business with Personal
16
THINK CLEARLY
19
I Must?
23
A Good Reason is Not Good Enough
24
Making Distinctions
28
The Lessons Learned
31
THINK VALUE
33
What Constitutes a Good Deal?
34
The Missing Postcard Stamps
36
Opportunity Costs
37
Sunk Costs
41
Value is Subjective
48
Is the Value of Human Life Infinite?
49
Micromorts and Real Life Safety Decisions
54
The Value of Your Time
56
The Lessons Learned
57
ASK WHAT CHANGED
59
The Malfunctioning Barbecue
60
The NASA Code
61
Rising Gas Prices
62
We Deliver Maybe
63
The Lessons Learned
64
KNOW WHAT YOU WANT BEFORE YOU CHOOSE
67
The Customer is Always Right?
68
Focusing on Costs
73
Getting There Efficiently
75
Look at the Big PictureIs Something More Important?
78
What is Your Objective?
79
Is it an Expense or an Investment?
80
Maximize the Ends Not the Means
85
Oh Really? Revenues Are That Important?
89
ShortTerm Versus LongTerm Focus
90
The Lessons Learned
91
BIASES AFFECT THE BEST OF US
93
The Crowded Uncrowded Store
95
The City Bus Mystery
96
Nose Rings and Personal Appearance
98
Overcoming Biases
99
Coincidences
100
Check Your Base
102
Market Share is Always Seventy Percent?
105
The Lessons Learned
107
REALIZE WHATS IMPORTANT
109
Lean Manufacturing
111
Employees Are Your Largest Cost
112
First Find FirstOrder Effects
113
The Soviets Make Nails
115
Constrained Resources
116
If This is Fraud Im Guilty
118
WitchHunts and Probabilities
119
The Lessons Learned
120
CREATE BETTER ALTERNATIVES
123
Can You Sit in the Hallway?
124
Closing the School
125
The Online Payroll Service
126
Positions and Interests
127
Writing Off Yard Work
128
Interested in a Relaxing Vacation
129
Choose the Best Alternative
152
Decision Analysis by Dirty Harry
153
The Airplane Ticket Decision
156
Hamlets Decision Tree
159
How Should You Assign Probabilities?
160
The Lessons Learned
162
RISK IS PART OF GROWTH
163
The Drug Dealers Risk
164
Your Risk Tolerance
166
The Risk of Business Failure
167
Accounting for Risk
169
Buying Insurance
180
Fail Earlier or Fail Later?
184
Probabilities Are Subjective
186
The Lessons Learned
188
EXPLOIT INEQUALITY
189
Paretos Law and Factor 16
191
Profiting from NonLinearity
196
Surprising Growth Rates
200
How to Allocate Your Time
202
Fifteen Times as Much Money
206
The Lessons Learned
207
KNOW THE VALUE OF INFORMATION
209
The OnePercent Rule
213
The Data Trap
216
The Right Amount of Information
217
The Lessons Learned
220
THINK SIMPLE
221
Thresholds
222
Breakeven Analysis
225
Persuading Others
226
Hopes Dreams and Wishes
227
Expert Direction
228
The Powerful Simplicity of Analogies
229
The Lessons Learned
230
THINK ARBITRAGE
231
The Old Ford Tempo
232
Los Gatos Square Footage
233
Billy Beane Baseball
234
Looking for Arbitrage
235
Saving Costs
237
An Investment Your Leftovers Will Love
238
Friedmans Secretary
239
DO THE RIGHT THING
241
Your Own Constitution
244
Being on Top for Once
249
The Case for Honesty
250
The Eventual Awkward Truth
251
Honesty in Business?
252
When Is Dishonesty Acceptable?
255
OUR FINAL THOUGHTS
259
APPENDIX
261
About the Authors
265
Acknowledgements
267
End Notes
269
Index
277
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