By Sydney Finkelstein and co-authors Jo Whitehead and Andrew Campbell
We've all watched smart, experienced leaders make flawed - even catastrophic - decisions. Some believe they have made the right choice, even when the disastrous consequences are staring them in the face. What is the root cause of these failures? How can the risks be reduced? And how can you be sure that you're making the right decisions?
In this follow-up to the #1 bestseller, Why Smart Executives Fail, Sydney Finkelstein and co-authors Jo Whitehead and Andrew Campbell turn their attention to such major strategic decisions as the war in Iraq, Hurricane Katrina, and numerous business cases to explain why decision-makers sometimes think they're right when they are really wrong. The book takes up recent research in neuroscience, cognitive psychology, and management to not only document why things go wrong, but also to offer a series of solutions that reduce our vulnerability to falling into the traps that lead to bad decisions. In light of the ongoing financial crisis, the lessons from this book are especially timely.
Why do smart and experienced leaders make flawed, even catastrophic, decisions? Why do people keep believing they have made the right choice, even when disastrous result stare them in the face? And how can you be sure you’re making the right decision—without the benefit of hindsight? Think Again shows how our brains can mislead us. The shortcuts our brains have learned to take over millennia of evolution help us most of the time. But, under certain conditions, they can derail our decision making. Think Again offers a powerful model for identifying when we are at risk – the red flags to watch for – and how we can design safeguards to help us make good decisions. Using examples from business, politics, and history, Think Again deconstructs bad decisions, as they unfolded in real time, to show how you can avoid the same fate.
Think Again provides a new model to help us make better decisions. With vivid stories ranging across industries and disciplines, the authors deconstruct bad decisions and identify the forces that have produced them. They go on to show you how to recognize the conditions - red flags - under which good decision making is most likely to falter, and offer a way of selecting safeguards that reduce the risk and ensure better outcomes.
There is no guarantee for perfect decisions. But with Think Again, you can understand the hurdles between you and success, manage to counterbalance their effects, and make better decisions - every day.
Sydney Finkelstein is the author of Why Smart Executives Fail, is a professor at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, and regularly lectures on leadership and why leaders fail. Jo Whitehead and Andrew Campbell are directors of the Strategic Management Centre at Ashridge Business School.
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