In short an objective decision is a just and fair one, supported by verifiable facts, with which rational and informed people will tend to agree. That said, subjectivity has its place. It’s up to us to determine mindfully the degree of objectivity is required in each case.
Do you want a simple and easy tool for making an important decision? The simplest “tool” is a heuristic. A short-cut like “take the default” or “do what everyone else is doing” may be fine for selecting a restaurant entrée or route to the grocery store. But what about more important decisions like taking a … Continue reading Taking the Red Pill: Into the Decision Matrix
Ethical Decisions are Everywhere The homeless guy I walked past. The hamburger I ate and the tip I left. The verbally abusive parent on the subway that I ignored. The $20 bill I found in the back of a cab. The elections. Life, at work and at home, is full of ethical decisions, choices about … Continue reading How to be Ethical in Under Four Minutes*
Our decisions, and the actions they lead to, make us who we are. In that sense, decisions are fundamental to our identities, our humanity and even the future of our planet. But what is a good decision and how do we get great at making them? I want to share with you my answers to … Continue reading Can One Become Great at Decision-Making?
When we make decisions, we often take the way they are presented to us at face value. Maybe a sales person offers you a menu of investment options or maybe a single recommendation; either way, you can bet a lot of thought went into the architecture of the choice presented to you. Amos Tversky and Daniel … Continue reading Framing 1, Facts 0?
Many of the most important decisions we make involve trade-offs between the present and future. How much of my income should I save today for my retirement? What costs should governments incur today to reduce the risk of catastrophic climate change in the (hopefully) distant future? How should businesses allocate investments that pay off in … Continue reading Future & Present: Where Brains, Math and Ethics Collide
HBR’s recent article, Leaders as Decision Architects, is a detailed investigation of how business managers can improve employee choices by adjusting the framework, context and process in which those decisions are made. The authors draw from two of my favorite books in behavioral economics, “Thinking Fast and Slow” and “Nudge”. There’s no doubt that in the right … Continue reading Choice Architecture: Don’t be Evil