Sunday, May 11, 2014

Decisive by Chip and Dan Heath

decisiveAt this time of year, networking season, I’m walking and talking with strangers, peers and mentors almost every day of the week at the crack of dawn. And we’re almost always talking about the same thing….


Major life decisions, career decisions, management decisions, budget decisions.

People worry a lot about making the right and wrong ones and there aren’t many great clear resources out there to help make them. DecisiveImage

Once again to the rescue comes global best selling authors Chip and Dan Heath. Every one of their previous books are must-reads and on the shelves of business book fans the world over. They are also students and promoters of the ‘solutions focus’ model that Alan Kay taught me and that I highly value.

If you find yourself making a good deal of decisions or if you’re in that scary career decision part of your life this book is a must-read.

It starts with the 4 Villains of Decision Making, the mind tricks we all fall into and how to retrain your gut when it is leading you astray. Something they shared in Inc Magazine recently.

Addressing the quintessential career question they highlight something I have decisionmantold thousands of people – find someone who is doing what you want to do and talk to them. In the case of this book they go a step further and encourage you to seek out people who have solved the career problem you are facing. As an added bonus to the book they have recorded a podcast “Decisive for Career Decisions”, free on their website (click here).

Both the Heath brothers an I are fans of one of Canada’s thought leaders Roger Martin and they remind us of a question he asks often, ‘what would have to be true for this to be the right answer’. They recently spoke with  Roger about how to “prepare to be wrong” when making decisions. A great video interview. Decisive_Wrap

Besides insightful solutions the book teaches you how to ask better questions of the people you turn to for help with decisions.

They introduce you odd words, like “Ooch” meaning to test ideas in the real world – entrepreneurs do this a lot. Decisive shares how to do it with minimal risk and when to try this strategy ( as well as when NOT to too ). Another smart idea is to engage not just in the ‘post-mortem’ but consider a ‘pre-mortem’ before you make the decision

Another great decision tool is the 10/10/10 rule featured in Fast Company magazine recently. In an interview with Forbes they applied the book to decision making in the healthcare sector where overconfidence can be lethal and outcomes effect life and death, a powerful read on decision making in crisis.

A personal note on the format that makes this book such a valuable read. I know many business books do this but not enough do these days. Each chapter at the end has a recap, a rethink and how to apply each concept to your life. It’s the main reason many people like me who read books from the library, bought a copy of the book. You can refer to it later without having to re-read.

I leave you with this quick video review. If you have already read the book be sure to check out this fantastic mind-map of the WRAP process by Douglas Pratt on his blog. It’s a quick way to remember the lessons of the book.

Again, don’t forget to visit Chip and Dan Heath’s site for free resources!

new       Thanks for reading,

       Paul Nazareth



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