Intuition or metrics?

You may have noticed the last three posts have focused on one thing: how to make better decisions. Why such a focus? Because the quality of our decisions is directly responsible for the quality of our lives. Yet we frequently make decisions that are not in our best interest. Why?

The secret to making better decisions isn’t really a secret so much as a thought process. You’ll realize this if you read Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3. I’ve tried to keep my posts on the subject as simple and accessible as possible, because the subject can get quite complex. For an even deeper review of decision-making from a business perspective, I  recommend a May 2015 article by Justin Fox: From “Economic Man” to Behavioral EconomicsAnd if that stokes further interest, you may want to read an excellent book called Decisive, by Chip and Dan Heath.

Here is a brief excerpt from Justin Fox’s article:

A firefighter running into a burning building doesn’t have time for even a quick decision tree, yet if he is experienced enough his intuition will often lead him to excellent decisions. Many other fields are similarly conducive to intuition built through years of practice—a minimum of 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to develop true expertise, the psychologist K. Anders Ericsson famously estimated. The fields where this rule best applies tend to be stable. The behavior of tennis balls or violins or even fire won’t suddenly change and render experience invalid. Management isn’t really one of those fields. It’s a mix of situations that repeat themselves, in which experience-based intuitions are invaluable, and new situations, in which such intuitions are worthless. It involves projects whose risks and potential returns lend themselves to calculations but also includes groundbreaking endeavors for which calculations are likely to mislead. It is perhaps the profession most in need of multiple decision strategies.

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