This is a visual book summary of Decisive by Chip Heath & Dan Heath. This book is about a four-step WRAP framework to make better decisions by identifying and defeating the 4 villains of bad decision-making. It presents a number of tools and strategies to make better choices.

Visual Book Summary Of Decisive By Chip Heath & Dan Heath (Infographic)

Book Summary of Decisive by Chip Heath & Dan Heath

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Here are some of my insights from the infographic visual book summary of Decisive by Chip Heath & Dan Heath:

4 Villains of Decision Making

  • Narrow framing: Unnecessarily limiting the options we have. Always ask AND instead of OR.
  • Confirmation bias: Seeking information that reinforces our pre-existing beliefs.
  • Short-term emotion: Emotions that fade away stops us from making good decisions.
  • Overconfidence: Being too cocky to realise we could be wrong about the future.

(W)iden Options

Avoid a Narrow Frame

  • Options are more plentiful than we think.
  • Focusing on current options puts them in the spotlight making us unaware of other options.
  • What’s the opportunity cost of current options?
  • Use the vanishing options test: what if your current options vanished?
  • Look from the outside to see a wider view.

Multitrack

  • Consider more than one option simultaneously.
  • Keeps egos in check as ego not tied to one option plus creates a fallback plan.
  • Consider only a few more options not dozens more to avoid decision paralysis.
  • Beware of “sham options” like “nuclear war, present policy, or surrender” when the goal here is clearly to make the decision-maker pick “present policy” as the other two options are impractical.
  • Use both prevention and promotion mindsets.
    Prevention = avoid negative outcomes
    Promotion = pursue positive outcomes

  • Think “this AND that” more than “this OR that.”

Find Who’s Solved Your Problem

  • Generate options by finding who’s solved your problem.
  • Laddering:
    1. Seek your own bright spots
    2. Best practices of others
    3. Seek analogies from related fields

(R)eality-Test Assumptions

  • Consider the opposite: To fight confirmation bias (tendency to seek self-serving information), ask disconfirming questions.
  • Zoom out + zoom in: Zoom out for an outside view (base rates) that is generally more accurate than our inside view. Zoom in for a close-up to see what’s missing from the outside view.
  • Ooch: Run small experiments to test out theories.

(A)ttain Distance

Short-term emotions can cause us to make hasty and regrettable decisions. View the process as an outsider: What would my friend/successor do?

Consider future emotions with the 10/10/10 framework: How would you feel in 10 minutes from now, 10 months from now and 10 years from now?

What are your core priorities? What kind of person or organisation do you want to be? Always honour your core priorities.

It is useful to have a stop-doing list to carve out more time to focus on the core priorities.

(P)repare to be Wrong

Usually, the future is NOT a point but a range so it can be helpful to bookend your predictions between a pre-mortem (worst case scenario) as well as pre-parade (best-case scenario).

In other words: Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst.

Another simple technique is to assume you are being overconfident and give yourself a healthy margin of error.

A tripwire is useful when change is gradual and/or we are on autopilot. It makes us realise that we have a choice.

Tripwires can be dates, budgets, metrics or patterns.


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