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Tech./Ops Council Speaker: Business Decision-making 'Flawed'
HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (9/24/13)--Decision-making processes in the business world are seriously flawed, said bestselling author Chip Heath, who opened the joint conference of the CUNA Technology Council and the CUNA Operations, Sales, and Service Council Sunday evening in Hollywood, Calif.
 
Click to view larger image Bestselling author Chip Heath was the opening speaker for the joint conference of the CUNA Technology Council and the CUNA Operations, Sales, and Service Council Sunday evening in Hollywood, Calif. (CUNA photo)
The conference ends Wednesday.

Heath, co-author of "Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard," told attendees that they live with flawed decision-making in their personal and professional lives due to biases and irrationalities.

Among the facts Heath cited to support this claim:
  • In a survey of 2,000 CEOs, 60% said bad decisions were just as common as good decisions in their organizations.
  • Nearly 85% of mergers create no value for shareholders.
  • Within their first 18 months on the job, 40% of CEOs fail.
  • The first book of the Harry Potter series was turned down by seven publishers.
  • Medical diagnoses are wrong 40% of the time.
Heath outlined a four-step "WRAP" process designed to help people and organizations make better decisions.
  • Widen your options. "Many people let themselves be confronted with 'whether-or-not' decisions," says Heath. "When people assume there are only two options, they're engaging in 'narrow framing.' Don't assume there are only two options. Pretend those options have been taken off the table and look for other possible solutions."
  • Reality-test your assumptions. Heath recommends testing your assumptions before making decisions. "Job interviews are a classic example," he said. "Instead of taking job candidates out to lunch, give them a genuine problem to solve so you can see how well they'd solve problems on the job."
  • Attain some distance. Decision-making is often influenced by short-term emotions, Heath said. "That's why you need to 'sleep on it' or imagine what your decision would look like in five years," he added. "If you're wrestling with a problem, pretend the problem belongs to a friend. And then ask yourself: 'How would I advise my friend on this problem.'"
  • Prepare to be wrong.  Heath recommends setting 'tripwires' for yourself--safeguards that prevent you from getting too far off course, such as limits on cost-overruns for key projects.
Visit News Now and Credit Union Magazine for updates on the joint conference of the CUNA Technology Council and the CUNA Operations, Sales, and Service Council. For more coverage of the conference today, read "Disasters, Security, Product Speed Rounds Highlight Councils' Confab."
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