Art of Decisions, The: How to Manage in an Uncertain World, 1st edition

  • Chris Blake


The Fast-Paced, Fun-to-Read Guide to Making Better Decisions!

How much information do you really need to make a business decision? Why don’t past winners keep on winning? When should you fold your hand, and when should you press on? In The Art of Decisions, Chris Blake reveals the amazing hidden realities beneath human decision making–and helps you optimize every decision you make.

Blake begins by exploding the #1 myth of decision making: the idea that if you have enough knowledge, you can engineer away all risk and make a rational, objective decision that’s nearly guaranteed to succeed. Next, Blake turns to the decision-making process itself, teaching better ways to make decisions in a world full of uncertainty, randomness, and tough luck.

Drawing on the secrets of psychology, poker, and probability, you’ll learn how to identify and overcome biases and errors that constantly creep into the decision-making process. You’ll discover the power and pitfalls of intuition in familiar and unfamiliar environments and learn "rules of thumb" drawn from fields as diverse as gambling and computer programming.

You’re human. You’ll never be perfect. But if you want to be right more often, when it matters most, this book will get you there.

• Decision-making lessons from Texas Hold’em

What to do about the risks and randomness you can’t eliminate

• Follow your instinct or follow the rules?

When to use your intuition--and when to doubt it

• Know when it’s time to decide

How to know when you know enough

• Make better decisions in unfamiliar environments

Hire a guide or make a map?

Table of contents

Acknowledgments     ix

Introduction     xi


Chapter 1    The Anatomy of Decisions     1

Chapter 2    Bad Things Sometimes Happen to the Good Guys     11

Chapter 3    In Search of the Perfect Decision?     23

Chapter 4    I Know I Am Right (but I Am Not Sure Why)     43

Chapter 5    Calling Off the Search     57

Chapter 6    Investing, Risk, and Poker     69

Chapter 7    Rules of Thumb: Part 1--Risk and Investing     93

Chapter 8    Deciding Close to Home     103

Chapter 9    Deciding Far from Home     121

Chapter 10   Overconfidence and the Entrepreneur     135

Chapter 11   The Trouble with Winners and Experts     151

Chapter 12   Map Making and the Planning Fallacy     165

Chapter 13   Fear, Greed, and Risk Taking     179

Chapter 14   The Dragon's Den Syndrome     195

Chapter 15   Rules of Thumb: Part 2--Fighting to Win     211

Chapter 16   The Art of Decision Making     219


Glossary of Poker Terms Used in the Book     229

Bibliography     231

Index     237


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Published by FT Press (September 23rd 2009) - Copyright © 2010