Tag: decision making. solving problems

22
Jul

Overcoming the Tyranny of Choice

We’ve all become spoiled by the number of choices we have. Supermarkets offer more than 60,000 consumer goods in all sizes and shapes. Searching on-line generates thousands of links for even the most obscure topic or item. Artificial intelligence anticipates the words we want to use in a text, the products we want to buy and provides instant directions if

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17
Aug

Warning: Multi-tasking Kills Your Productivity

Be honest – Can you really multi-task? The answer has to be “no.” Here’s why — Multi-tasking is physically impossible! Research has determined that your brain’s working (or short-term) memory can manage as many as five stimuli at a time. But . . . this includes elements such as the temperature in the room, ambient noise, aromas, and other environmental

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25
Apr

Make Sure Decision Makers Hear the Truth

I recently spent two days working with a group of executives in the construction industry. At one point, they veered off onto what drives them nuts about their subordinates. The number one complaint? Being told what their people think they want to hear. I asked one individual his strategy for eliciting the unvarnished truth. “I say ‘bulls—t’ a lot,” he

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8
Jan

Making Decisions and Cognitive Control

In the 1970’s, folksinger Harry Chapin published a song entitled Flowers are Red, a lament about how adults teach kids to limit their creativity. I think about these lyrics once in a while when I consider how today’s digital influences do the same. Paul Tough, in his insightful book, How Children Succeed, writes “two of the most important executive functions

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4
Jan

Making Decisions and Unintended Consequences

This week, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order requiring local governments to take the homeless off the streets when the temperature falls below 32 degrees. According to the order, this is to be accomplished by force, if necessary. I think we all applaud the Governor’s intent, but this is a prima facie example of making decisions without

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4
Dec

Making Decisions and Satisfying Everyone

As with many people these days, I have become frustrated with the legislative gridlock at all levels of government. It is the nature of politics to seek input from a variety of stakeholders before acting. Sadly, seeking endless input has also become a device for stalling decisions that might be controversial. Over the past several years, we have watched action

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27
Nov

How to Make College Graduates Make Decisions

It’s no secret that many college students don’t graduate with the critical thinking skills we assume. A 2011 analysis found that 45% of those studied over four years made no significant improvement in their critical thinking, reasoning or writing skills during the first two years of college. After four years, 36 percent had still shown no significant gains. If you

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13
Nov

Decision Making and Twisted Media Coverage

There’s a saying about the media that goes, “If it bleeds, it leads.” While this is a rather cynical view of the so-called Fourth Estate, time and again we find that some within this industry twist perceptions, and sometimes even truth, to meet their needs. A good example was this article on the CNN home page entitled 21 Colleges That

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6
Nov

How to Get to Neutral in Making Decisions

Perhaps you have seen the 2009 animated Disney movie, Up. A running gag throughout the film is the word “squirrel.” Of course, canine distractions are not limited to squirrels. The same can be said of humans. When it comes to everyday life, we all feel like we’re at the mercy of whatever is crossing our attention. It’s up to us,

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16
Oct

If You Don’t Read You Don’t Succeed

I had a conversation recently with a forty-something who was complaining about the lack of direction within his organization. It was one of those, “If I was in charge . .” kind of rants. Three different times during our discussion, I mentioned something I had read about his industry. Each time, he seemed genuinely interested by the information. As it

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