Decisive: How To Make Better Choices In Life and Work


As a matter of disclosure I read this book as part of my role as discussion leader and moderator for the Credit Union Leaders Book Club on LinkedIn. The book is well documented, contains numerous examples and is an engaging read.

Chip and Dan Heath

Over the course of the book Chip and Dan Heath discuss what impedes good decision making by describing the four obstacles to good decision making and then presenting the WRAP process to address them. The four obstacles are:

First – Narrow Framing (unduly limiting the options we consider). Their approach is to consider “”Can I do this and that?” instead of “Can I do this or that?”

Second – The Confirmation Bias (seeking out information that bolsters our beliefs). Here they stress that a broader search for information both supporting and non-supporting in order to have a truer discussion of the ramifications of a decision.

Third – Short Term Emotion (being swayed by emotions that will not fade). Andy Grove is used as the example – “What would our successors do if we were not here?” in order to take emotions out of the decision.

Fourth – Overconfidence (having too much faith in our predictions). “Who wants to hear actors talk?” “Four-piece groups with guitars, particularly, are finished.”

The WRAP process stands for:

  • Widen Your Options: avoiding a narrow frame, multitracking and finding someone who has already solved your problem.
  • Reality-Test Your Assumptions: consider the opposite, zoom in and out, and ooch.
  • Attain Distance Before Deciding: overcome short-term emotion and honor your core priorities.
  • Prepare to be Wrong: bookend the future and set a tripwire.

The book contains a one page summary at the end of each chapter. In addition there is a next steps section, recommended reading list, sample clinics, and examples for overcoming obstacles. In addition, there is additional resource material available on the Heath Brothers website.

I recommend this book for anyone or organization that is looking to improve their decision making process.


About caseywheeler

My interests include: Model trains, Reading, Genealogy, New York Yankees and helping organizations be successful.
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