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Why Decisions Fail

Why Decisions Fail

Why Decisions Fail

Avoiding the Blunders and Traps That Lead to Debacles

by Paul Nutt

For more than 20 years, Ohio State University Professor Paul C. Nutt has studied how decisions are made and has written extensively about what works, what doesn’t and why. His key finding in all this work is startling: Decisions fail half of the time. Organizations spend vast sums of money and commit significant amounts of resources without realizing any benefits. Nutt writes that failures can be traced to three blunders and seven traps that ensnare decision makers; avoiding these blunders and the traps they set will cut one’s failure rate significantly.

What You'll Learn

  • Navigate around potential blunders. Learn how using failure-prone practices, making premature commitments and engaging in unwise investments can derail your decision-making process, and why these blunders are so easy to make.
  • Identify ensuing traps. If you are unable to avoid making a decision blunder, you will likely be ensnared in one of seven traps that lead to failure. Whether you fail to manage opposing forces, provide ambiguous directions, choose only evaluation data that supports your point, or fall into any of the other ensuing traps, the decisions you make will be compromised, usually at great cost. Getting around these traps is imperative.
  • Learn from others' mistakes. Nutt provides many examples of individuals and companies that fell into traps that turned their decisions into debacles - from stalwart organizations like Disney and Ford, to lesser-known businesses and people. These case studies provide a bevy of lessons for you and your organization.
  • Make the right decisions. Nutt does more than show you what others did wrong; he also gives instructions on how to avoid each blunder and trap, providing tips and techniques on consistently using the right tools and procedures to make the right decisions, every time.
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