Decision Making: Perils & Remedies

Event Date: 
Wednesday, July 23, 2014 - 6:30pm
Event End Date: 
Wednesday, July 23, 2014 - 8:00pm

Going Beyond Common-Sense, Gut-Feel, and Experience!

Desion Making Workshop

Presenter: Errol Wirasinghe Ph.D. CEO,

Most people say a decision is good if it produces the desired outcome. However, the problem is the decision has to be implemented before the outcome can be judged. Wouldn’t it be better to be able to validate the decision before it is implemented?

A Holistic Approach to Decision Making lets you do exactly that.

What You Will Learn:

Recognize the hidden traps that frequently lead us to behave irrationally and why we fail in making optimum decisions.
Validate the decisions, and evaluate the sensitivity of the decision to human bias, and the changing environment, thereby minimize risk exposure.
Identify criteria relevant to the objective, and to segregate the criteria, and finally assign criteria weights using the Analytic Hierarchy Process.

Why do even trained professionals make lousy decisions?

Whether it’s recruiting, buying a home, accepting a job offer, or getting married, everyone has to make crucial decisions. But, regardless of how critical the decision may be, many find it hard to even entertain the idea that they might be making sub-optimal decisions.

Nevertheless, research tells us there are valid reasons to doubt the effectiveness of most decisions we make. In 1956, Professor George Miller of Princeton University published research showing that humans can process only a limited amount of information at a given point in time. Today—when we are constantly bombarded with information—this becomes even more of a problem.

Today, in the face of information and choice overload, our decision-making tends to become overly influenced by personal bias, intuition, prior experience, and perception. Hardly the best foundation for good decisions!

Recent experiments by Professor Dan Ariely of MIT, and others, confirm our tendency to gravitate toward sub-optimal decisions.
The consensus is:

  • If there are no options, people tend to procrastinate and avoid making a decision.
  • If there are too many options, people become confused and are reluctant to make a decision.
  • If there are few options, people feel the need to make a decision, even when a decision is not warranted.
  • If the majority seems to think something is better, most of us tend to agree as well.

Problem Solving vs. Decision Making

Simply stated, problem solving is the creative process of coming up with a range of potential solutions for the problem at hand.
Decision making is the process of identifying the optimal one, for implementation.

Unfortunately, many people think these two processes are one and the same, never realizing that the techniques required for one are distinctly different from the techniques required for the other.

A Holistic Approach to Decision Making will make the difference clear once and for all, and set you on the path to making better decisions.


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