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Dyson and the art of making quick decisions
October 16, 2019 | Financial Times | by John Gapper.

Article is arguing for enforcing a “shot clock” on lingering decisions and to put plans into action faster and regain competitive footing in your industry/business.

Entrepreneur, James Dyson, unceremoniously abandoned a Dyson initiative to build an electric car.  It demonstrated how unsentimental he was about unsuccessful experiments.....Better to acknowledge defeat as early as possible rather than after having thrown away hundreds of millions...For any business to thrive, difficult decisions need to be made, from new projects to corporate strategy. “The job of the CEO, everyone knows, is to make decisions,” wrote Ram Charan, a veteran strategy adviser. This is especially true when entire industries are facing disruption to their business models......Indecision is common in companies facing myriad possibilities, when executives are struggling to assess alternatives for future strategy. Many managers become frustrated by the glacial pace of corporate decision-making. McKinsey, the consultancy, surveyed executives who complained of “over-reliance on consensus and death by committee”, among other irritations....It is not always the chief executive’s fault. Some managers are comfortable with making simple decisions but struggle when they are promoted to a level where they are exposed to ambiguity and uncertainty. They need to employ their judgment, rather than consulting the data like an oracle. Their indecision can also infect the CEO. But your business is not a democracy....Some executives promote a “five second rule” to prompt executives who report to them to reach decisions (i.e. summarise the alternatives and options for any strategy, pause and pick one).....Being forced to use intuition after considering the evidence helps to avoid being paralysed by a question when there is no easy answer......Daniel Kahneman, the Nobel Prize-winning psychologist, observed that “managers think of themselves as captains of a ship on a stormy sea” who respond skilfully to the elements around them. It feels better to pick a destination and sail in that direction than to wallow around.....But Prof Kahneman won his economics Nobel for research on the cognitive biases that affect human choices. Making quick decisions, even informed by experience and expertise, is valuable but not foolproof. As he noted, “intuition feels just the same when it’s wrong and when it’s right, that’s the problem.”....Those who consider a challenge from all angles and act prudently and decisively may still be wrong. “Even highly experienced, superbly competent and well-intentioned managers are fallible,” Prof Kahneman wrote. Among the traps is the “halo effect” of believing that an executive who has succeeded before will make any project work. It follows that leaders should not be trapped by their decisions, or the confirmation bias of believing that the chosen path must be correct...... It is difficult when a leader place the entire company on another course, only to discover the pitfalls. It may take a successor to come along and reverse those choices. But decisions will at least prove right some of the time; indecision is always mistaken.
ambiguities  analysis_paralysis  CEOs  clock_speed  confirmation_bias  decision_making  Daniel_Kahneman  Dyson  halo_effects  hard_choices  HBR  humility  indecision  intuition  leaders  James_Dyson  judgment  mistakes  Ram_Charan  shot_clock  speed  tough-mindedness  uncertainty  unsentimental 
12 hours ago by jerryking
Cake shop management cannot suffice for a modern economy.
Feb 28, 2019 | Kaieteur News | Columnists, Peeping Tom.

Cake shop management cannot suffice for a modern economy.

The style of governance since political Independence has not been conducive to development. It is ill-suited for modernization. Given the expansive nature of relations and issues which governments have to address, there is a need for greater devolution of power. Centralized government can no longer cope with the multiple, overlapping and multilayered aspects of governance.......Guyana, however, is going in the opposite direction. The more modern the bureaucracy, the more swollen and overstaffed it becomes. The more complex government becomes, the more centralized is decision-making. The greater demands on resources, the bigger the bureaucracy.
The public bureaucracy is now a cancer. It is sucking the life out of public administration. Merely keeping this inefficient and revenue-guzzling monstrosity alive is costing taxpayers in excess of 500 million dollars per day. This is wanton wastage. That money could have been put to help boost private sector development to create jobs for the thousands of young people who are unemployed. The more the government implements technology, the more inefficient it becomes. It is all part of what is known as cake shop management........Guyana is going to continue to be left behind the rest of the world. It has seen Guyana retrogress and we will always be in a fire fighting mode rather than ensuring forward thinking and planning. A country today simply cannot be run like a cake shop. The world is too modern, and too many things are taking place to allow for such a style of governance. Once the policy is made by the government, the mechanics should be left to lower level officials who should be held accountable for ensuring its implementation and who should be held responsible for any failures........What is required is for faster decision-making so as to allow for the multitasking.........Plantain chips and breadfruit chips and other small businesses cannot make the economy grow. It cannot generate the massive jobs needed to impact on unemployment. It will not lift large numbers out of poverty. This is catch-hand approach to helping poor people.
Cake shop management cannot run a modern economy. Never has; never will.
bureaucracies  centralization  complexity  decision_making  devolution  Guyana  inefficiencies  modernization  policymaking  public_sector  public_servants  technology  traffic_congestion  forward-thinking  multitasking  decentralization  digital_economy  governance  knowledge_economy  centralized_control  implementation  unsophisticated 
march 2019 by jerryking
Medical Professor Tried to Help Patients Understand Their Odds - WSJ
By James R. Hagerty
Dec. 14, 2018

Together with H. Gilbert Welch, Dr. Schwartz and Dr. Woloshin wrote a 2008 book, “Know Your Chances: Understanding Health Statistics.” They also worked with the National Cancer Institute to create the Know Your Chances website..... Lisa Schwartz [worked towards]... helping people make informed decisions about whether to try a medication or treatment.

She devoted her career to making patients smarter about assessing risks and advising doctors and journalists about how to communicate more clearly on medical issues.... She and her husband, Dr. Steven Woloshin, also coached people on how to assess odds. If a drug was found to reduce the risks of a disease by 80%, that may sound persuasive. But if those chances were only 2% to begin with, the difference made by the drug might not be sufficient to justify the side effects.....Dr. Schwartz taught junior faculty members and post-doctoral students to write and speak more effectively. Clear writing, she often said, required clear thinking. "Our goal has been to give people a realistic sense of what is known and what is not known—how hopeful or worried they should be.”
communicating_risks  decision_making  medical_communication  obituaries  physicians  risk-assessment  women  unknowns  doctor's_visits  doctors  plain_English  probabilities  books  smart_people 
december 2018 by jerryking
‘Farsighted’ Review: How to Make Up Your Mind - WSJ
14 COMMENTS
By David A. Shaywitz
Sept. 11, 2018

..mission planners first systematically widened their thinking to define their options as broadly as possible, seeking a “full-spectrum appraisal of the state of things and a comprehensive list of potential choices.” Then they coned down the alternatives by playing out multiple scenarios, exploring all the ways the mission could go wrong........When faced with complex choices we tend to frame problems in a narrow fashion. .......seek participation from as broad and diverse a group as possible.....a diversity of viewpoints isn’t enough. Citing the legal scholar Cass Sunstein, Mr. Johnson observes that, although “groups often possess a rich mix of information distributed among their members,” when they assemble “they tend to focus on shared information.” Thus it is important to design a process that exposes “unshared information”—by meeting individually with stakeholders, for instance, instead of merely convening a town hall. Similarly, he cites research revealing that two-thirds of organizational decisions never contemplate more than a single option. There is a “gravitational pull toward the initial framing of the decision.” To overcome it, he suggests considering what might be done if the presumptive path forward were suddenly blocked....“Uncertainty can’t simply be analyzed out of existence,” ...What scenarios and simulations can offer is a way to “prepare you for the many ways that the future might unexpectedly veer.”..... Linear value modeling, for example, weighs the relative importance of different goals, while a bad-outcomes approach examines worst-case possibilities........given the challenges of making high-stakes global decisions. How should we respond, as a planet, to the challenges of addressing climate change, communicating with alien life forms or managing computers with superintelligence? The answer seems to be: by convening diverse experts and hoping for the best. ....... Great novels matter because “they let us experience parallel lives, and see the complexity of those experiences in vivid detail.”........ fundamentally, choices concern competing narratives, and we’re likely to make better choices if we have richer stories, with more fleshed-out characters, a more nuanced understanding of motives, and a deeper appreciation of how decisions are likely to reverberate and resound.
books  book_reviews  Cass_Sunstein  choices  decision_making  far-sightedness  howto  narrow-framing  novels  presumptions  scenario-planning  shared_experiences  Steven_Johnson  systematic_approaches  thinking_tragically  uncertainty  unshared_information  wide-framing  worst-case 
november 2018 by jerryking
How a Former Canadian Spy Helps Wall Street Mavens Think Smarter
Nov. 11, 2018 | The New York Times | By Landon Thomas Jr.

* “Atomic Habits: An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones,” by James Clear. “
* “The Laws of Human Nature,” an examination of human behavior that draws on examples of historical figures by Robert Greene.
* “Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Bets When you Don’t Have All the Cards” by Annie Duke,
* “On Grand Strategy,” an assessment of the decisions of notable historical leaders by the Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer John Lewis Gaddis

Shane Parrish has become an unlikely guru for Wall Street. His self-improvement strategies appeal to his overachieving audience in elite finance, Silicon Valley and professional sports.....Shane Parrish is a former cybersecurity expert at Canada’s top intelligence agency and an occasional blogger when he noticed something curious about his modest readership six years ago: 80 percent of his followers worked on Wall Street......The blog was meant to be a method of self-improvement, however, his lonely riffs — on how learning deeply, thinking widely and reading books strategically could improve decision-making skills — had found an eager audience among hedge fund titans and mutual fund executives, many of whom were still licking their wounds after the financial crisis.

His website, Farnam Street, urges visitors to “Upgrade Yourself.” In saying as much, Mr. Parrish is promoting strategies of rigorous self-betterment as opposed to classic self-help fare — which appeals to his overachieving audience in elite finance, Silicon Valley and professional sports. ....Today, Mr. Parrish’s community of striving financiers is clamoring for more of him. That means calling on him to present his thoughts and book ideas to employees and clients; attending his regular reading and think weeks in Hawaii, Paris and the Bahamas; and in some cases hiring him to be their personal decision-making coach......“We are trying to get people to ask themselves better questions and reflect. If you can do that, you will be better able to handle the speed and variety of changing environments.”....Parrish advises investors, to disconnect from the noise and to read deeply......Few Wall Street obsessions surpass the pursuit of an investment edge. In an earlier era, before computers and the internet, this advantage was largely brain power. Today, information is just another commodity. And the edge belongs to algorithms, data sets and funds that track indexes and countless other investment themes.......“It is all about habits,” “Setting goals is easy — but without good habits you are not getting there.”......“Every world-class investor is questioning right now how they can improve,” he said. “So, in a machine-driven age where everything is driven by speed, perhaps the edge is judgment, time and perspective.”
books  Charlie_Munger  coaching  commoditization_of_information  CSE  cyber_security  decision_making  deep_learning  disconnecting  financiers  gurus  habits  investors  judgment  life_long_learning  overachievers  personal_coaching  perspectives  Pulitzer_Prize  questions  reading  reflections  self-betterment  self-improvement  slight_edge  smart_people  Wall_Street  Warren_Buffett 
november 2018 by jerryking
12 CRUCIAL QUESTIONS TO BETTER DECISION-MAKING:
May 31, 2018 | The Globe and Mail | HARVEY SCHACHTER.

Here are 12 crucial factors that consultant Nathan Magnuson says you should consider in decision-making:

* Are you the right person to make the decision?
* What outcomes are you directly respons...
benefits  clarity  core_values  costs  data  data_driven  decision_making  delighting_customers  long-term  managing_up  Occam's_Razor  personal_control  priorities  questions  the_right_people  what_really_matters 
may 2018 by jerryking
Opinion | Robert E. Rubin: Philosophy Prepared Me for a Career in Finance and Government - The New York Times
By Robert E. Rubin

Mr. Rubin was secretary of the Treasury from 1995 to 1999.

April 30, 2018

Raphael Demos. Professor Demos, an authority on Greek philosophy, was Harvard’s Alford Professor of Natural Religion, Moral Philosophy and Civil Policy. But to me, when I took a class with him my sophomore year, he was a genial little man with white hair and an exceptional talent for engaging students from the lecture hall stage, using an overturned wastebasket as his lectern. Professor Demos would use Plato and other great philosophers to demonstrate that proving any proposition to be true in the final and ultimate sense was impossible. His approach to critical thinking planted a seed in me that grew during my years at Harvard and throughout my life. The approach appealed to what was probably my natural but latent tendency toward questioning and skepticism.

I concluded that you can’t prove anything in absolute terms, from which I extrapolated that all significant decisions are about probabilities. Internalizing the core tenet of Professor Demos’s teaching — weighing risk and analyzing odds and trade-offs — was central to everything I did professionally in the decades ahead in finance and government.......Demos crystallized for me the power of critical thinking: asking questions, recognizing that there are no provable certainties and analyzing the probabilities. And that, coupled with my coffeehouse lessons, was the best preparation one could have — not just for a career but also for life.
Robert_Rubin  Colleges_&_Universities  Harvard  philosophers  philosophy  Plato  Wall_Street  Goldman_Sachs  career_paths  advice  life_skills  probabilities  decision_making  critical_thinking  U.S.Treasury_Department  Greek  tradeoffs 
may 2018 by jerryking
Piecing Together Narratives From the 0′s and 1′s: Storytelling in the Age of Big Data - CIO Journal. - WSJ
Feb 16, 2018 | WSJ | By Irving Wladawsky-Berger.

Probabilities are inherently hard to grasp, especially for an individual event like a war or an election, ......Why is it so hard for people to deal with probabilities in everyday life? “I think part of the answer lies with Kahneman’s insight: Human beings need a story,”....Mr. Kahneman explained their research in his 2011 bestseller Thinking, Fast and Slow. Its central thesis is that our mind is composed of two very different systems of thinking. System 1 is the intuitive, fast and emotional part of our mind. Thoughts come automatically and very quickly to System 1, without us doing anything to make them happen. System 2, on the other hand, is the slower, logical, more deliberate part of the mind. It’s where we evaluate and choose between multiple options, because only System 2 can think of multiple things at once and shift its attention between them.

System 1 typically works by developing a coherent story based on the observations and facts at its disposal. Research has shown that the intuitive System 1 is actually more influential in our decisions, choices and judgements than we generally realize. But, while enabling us to act quickly, System 1 is prone to mistakes. It tends to be overconfident, creating the impression that we live in a world that’s more coherent and simpler than the actual real world. It suppresses complexity and information that might contradict its coherent story.

Making sense of probabilities, numbers and graphs requires us to engage System 2, which, for most everyone, takes quite a bit of focus, time and energy. Thus, most people will try to evaluate the information using a System 1 simple story: who will win the election? who will win the football game?.....Storytelling has played a central role in human communications since times immemorial. Over the centuries, the nature of storytelling has significantly evolved with the advent of writing and the emergence of new technologies that enabled stories to be embodied in a variety of media, including books, films, and TV. Everything else being equal, stories are our preferred way of absorbing information.

“It’s not enough to say an event has a 10 percent probability,” wrote Mr. Leonhardt. “People need a story that forces them to visualize the unlikely event – so they don’t round 10 to zero.”.....
in_the_real_world  storytelling  massive_data_sets  probabilities  Irving_Wladawsky-Berger  Communicating_&_Connecting  Daniel_Kahneman  complexity  uncertainty  decision_making  metacognition  data_journalism  sense-making  thinking_deliberatively 
february 2018 by jerryking
3 Ways to Improve Your Decision Making
Walter Frick
JANUARY 22, 2018

Rule #1: Be less certain.
Nobel-prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman has said that overconfidence is the bias he’d eliminate first if he had a magic wand. It’s ubiquitous, particularly among men, the wealthy, and even experts. Overconfidence is not a universal phenomenon — it depends on factors including culture and personality — but the chances are good that you’re more confident about each step of the decision-making process than you ought to be.

So, the first rule of decision making is to just be less certain — about everything. Think choice A will lead to outcome B? It’s probably a bit less likely than you believe. Think outcome B is preferable to outcome C? You’re probably too confident about that as well.

Once you accept that you’re overconfident, you can revisit the logic of your decision. What else would you think about if you were less sure that A would cause B, or that B is preferable to C? Have you prepared for a dramatically different outcome than your expected one?

Rule #2: Ask “How often does that typically happen?”
....think about how long similar projects typically take....In general, research suggests, the best starting point for predictions ­— a key input into decision making — is to ask “How often does that typically happen?”
This rule, known as the base rate, comes up a lot in the research on prediction, but it might be helpful for the judgment side of decision making, too. If you think outcome B is preferable to outcome C, you might ask: How often has that historically been the case? ...The idea with both prediction and judgment is to get away from the “inside view,” where the specifics of the decision overwhelm your analysis. Instead, you want to take the “outside view,” where you start with similar cases before considering the specifics of your individual case.

Rule #3: Think probabilistically — and learn some basic probability.
The first two rules can be implemented right away; this one takes a bit of time. But it’s worth it. Research has shown that even relatively basic training in probability makes people better forecasters and helps them avoid certain cognitive biases....Improving your ability to think probabilistically will help you with the first two rules. You’ll be able to better express your uncertainty and to numerically think about “How often does this usually happen?” The three rules together are more powerful than any of them alone.

Even though these rules are all things you can start using relatively quickly, mastering them takes practice. In fact, after you use them for a little while, you may become overconfident about your ability to make decisions. Great decision makers don’t follow these rules only when facing a particularly difficult choice; they return to them all the time. They recognize that even seemingly easy decisions can be hard — and that they probably know less than they think
decision_making  pretense_of_knowledge  base_rates  probabilities  Daniel_Kahneman  overconfidence  biases  certainty 
january 2018 by jerryking
Why Trying New Things Is So Hard to Do - The New York Times
By SENDHIL MULLAINATHAN DEC. 1, 2017

Experimentation is an act of humility, an acknowledgment that there is simply no way of knowing without trying something different.

Understanding that truth is a first step, but it is important to act on it. Sticking with an old habit is comforting, but one of these days, maybe, I’ll actually buy a bottle of generic soda.
experimentation  habits  choices  personal_payoffs  decision_making 
december 2017 by jerryking
A Former CIA Executive’s Advice On How To Make Hard Decisions | The future of business
05.28.15 | Fast Company | BY STEPHANIE VOZZA.
A Former CIA Executive’s Advice On How To Make Hard Decisions
A five-step decision-making process from a man who spent 25 years making life-and-death decisions.
(1) Question
(2) Drivers
(3) Metrics
(4) Data
(5) What's Missing/Blind Spots

1. FIND THE REAL QUESTION
Questions are NOT self-evident, says Mudd. Focusing on better questions up front yields better answers later.
“Good questions are hard to come up with,” he says. Delay data gathering and the conclusions.... think about exactly what it is we want to know..... Start with what you’re trying to accomplish and work your way back, instead of moving forward and making conclusions. The right question provides a decision advantage to the person at the head of the table.

2. IDENTIFY YOUR “DRIVERS”
Break down complex questions into characteristics or “drivers.” This approach gives you a way to manage data.
For example, sort data on Al Qaeda into information baskets that included money, recruits, leadership, communications, training, and access to weapons. When information flows in, rather than adding it to one unmanageable pile, sorting through it periodically, and offering a recitation of what appears to be relevant from the most recent stuff you’ve seen, file each bit into one of your baskets. Limit your drivers to 10.

3. DECIDE ON YOUR METRICS
Identify the metrics you’ll use to measure how the problem and solution are evolving over time.
What are the right metrics?
What are the new information sources and metrics?
Compare your thought process to the training process of an Olympic sprinter who measures success in hundredths of a second. “If we don’t, the analysis we provide will suffer the same fate as a sprinter who thinks he’s great but has never owned a stopwatch: he enters an elite competition, and reality intervenes,” Metrics provide a “mind mirror”–a system for judging your decisions. It provides a foundation for coming back to the table and assessing the process for success.

4. COLLECT THE DATA
Once you’ve built the framework that will help you make the hard decision, it’s time to gather the data. Overcome data overload by plugging data into their driver categories and excising anything that doesn’t fit. “Too much data might provide a false sense of security, and it doesn’t necessarily lead to clearer analytic decision making,”

Avoud intuition. It’s dangerous. Aggressively question the validity of your data. Once you have your data sorted, give yourself a grade that represents your confidence in assessing your question.

5. LOOK FOR WHAT’S MISSING
Complex analysis isn’t easy. Assume that the process is flawed and check for gaps and errors. Three common stumbling blocks are:

Availability bias: The instinct to rely on what you know or what has been most recently in the news.
Halo effect: When you write off the negative characteristics because you’re mesmerized by the positive attributes.
Intuitive versus analytic methodologies: when you go with your gut. Relying on intuition is dangerous.

Mudd says making complex decisions is hard work. “It’s a lot of fun to be an expert who bases their ideas on history and not a lot of fun to be an analyst who must always be assessing potential scenarios,” he says. “Every time you go into a problem, and before you rip into data, ask yourself, ‘Am I sure where I’m heading?’”
asking_the_right_questions  availability_bias  biases  decision_making  false_sense_of_security  gut_feelings  halo_effects  hard_choices  intuition  intelligence_analysts  life-and-death  metrics  Philip_Mudd  problem_definition  organizing_data  problem_framing  sorting  thinking_backwards 
october 2017 by jerryking
We Survived Spreadsheets, and We’ll Survive AI - WSJ
By Greg Ip
Updated Aug. 2, 2017

History and economics show that when an input such as energy, communication or calculation becomes cheaper, we find many more uses for it. Some jobs become superfluous, but others more valuable, and brand new ones spring into existence. Why should AI be different?

Back in the 1860s, the British economist William Stanley Jevons noticed that when more-efficient steam engines reduced the coal needed to generate power, steam power became more widespread and coal consumption rose. More recently, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology-led study found that as semiconductor manufacturers squeezed more computing power out of each unit of silicon, the demand for computing power shot up, and silicon consumption rose.

The “Jevons paradox” is true of information-based inputs, not just materials like coal and silicon......Just as spreadsheets drove costs down and demand up for calculations, machine learning—the application of AI to large data sets—will do the same for predictions, argue Ajay Agrawal, Joshua Gans and Avi Goldfarb, who teach at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. “Prediction about uncertain states of the world is an input into decision making,” they wrote in a recent paper. .....Unlike spreadsheets, machine learning doesn’t yield exact answers. But it reduces the uncertainty around different risks. For example, AI makes mammograms more accurate, the authors note, so doctors can better judge when to conduct invasive biopsies. That makes the doctor’s judgment more valuable......Machine learning is statistics on steroids: It uses powerful algorithms and computers to analyze far more inputs, such as the millions of pixels in a digital picture, and not just numbers but images and sounds. It turns combinations of variables into yet more variables, until it maximizes its success on questions such as “is this a picture of a dog” or at tasks such as “persuade the viewer to click on this link.”.....Yet as AI gets cheaper, so its potential applications will grow. Just as better weather forecasting makes us more willing to go out without an umbrella, Mr. Manzi says, AI emboldens companies to test more products, strategies and hunches: “Theories become lightweight and disposable.” They need people who know how to use it, and how to act on the results.
artificial_intelligence  Greg_Ip  spreadsheets  machine_learning  predictions  paradoxes  Jim_Manzi  experimentation  testing  massive_data_sets  judgment  uncertainty  economists  algorithms  MIT  Gilder's_Law  speed  steam_engine  operational_tempo  Jevons_paradox  decision_making 
august 2017 by jerryking
Ford CEO: Decision-Making ‘Shot Clock’ Needed to Accelerate Plans - WSJ
By Christina Rogers
Updated June 30, 2017

Ford Motor Co.’s new Chief Executive Jim Hackett is enforcing a “shot clock” on lingering decisions at the auto maker to put plans into action faster and regain competitive footing in vital segments of the car business.

Mr. Hackett, speaking to analysts this week, rolled out the shot-clock idea—which is borrowed from a rule employed in basketball to quicken the pace of the game—as part of his agenda for the first 100 days in a job he took over in May. He spoke Thursday with Wall Street analysts, the first such meeting for Ford’s new chief as he confronts an underperforming stock price.

The company has been widely criticized for appearing indecisive on important technology bets, including self-driving cars or electric vehicles.

In addition to setting firmer deadlines on decisions, Mr. Hackett said he plans to focus on costs, according to analysts’ reports recounting the event. He wants to move faster to target weaknesses in the business, such as slumping U.S. sedan sales.......Ford is now investing in autonomous-vehicle research, including taking financial stakes in startups, and is spending more than $4 billion to improve its electric-car lineup.
operational_tempo  decision_making  Jim_Hackett  Ford  automotive_industry  electric_cars  autonomous_vehicles  accelerated_lifecycles  clock_speed  indecision  shot_clock 
june 2017 by jerryking
Yale to Build Tool Offering Real-Time Lessons on Financial Crises -
May 9, 2017 | WSJ | By Gabriel T. Rubin.

Yale University will launch an online platform to provide real-time support to policy makers dealing with financial crises, with the help of a $10 million gift from business leaders and philanthropists Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Peter G. Peterson Foundation.

The gift represents a major expansion of the Yale Program on Financial Stability, a degree-granting program in the university’s school of management that aims to train early- and midcareer financial regulators from around the globe.

The new resources will support a small staff of researchers, led by Professor Andrew Metrick, as they build a database of “lessons from hundreds of interventions from past crises,” the university said. The effort is the first of its kind, according to Yale, and reflects a need for more research on “wartime” situations, rather than the preventive sort of regulatory research done by central banks around the world. Central banks often avoid extensive crisis preparations out of reluctance to promote moral hazard, leaving policy makers to reinvent the wheel each time a new crisis arises.....Mr. Geithner, who serves as the chairman of the Program on Financial Stability, said that he and other policy makers would have been able to act faster and with greater confidence during the financial crisis with access to the tools that Mr. Metrick’s team will build.

“There were probably four or five periods when the crisis was escalating, the panic was spreading, sitting on the phone for 20 hours a day trying to figure out how to do things,” Mr. Geithner recalled. “And we hadn’t had to do some of those things since the Great Depression. That took us a lot of time, and that can be costly.”

The open online platform will include descriptions of specific interventions—for example, the use of a “bad bank” to hold distressed assets—and will detail what did and didn’t work well in each case.
Yale  Colleges_&_Universities  crisis  regulators  Walter_Bagehot  central_banks  real-time  databases  lessons_learned  policy_tools  Peter_Peterson  reinventing_the_wheel  policymakers  confidence  economic_downturn  decision_making  speed  the_Great_Depression  crisis_management  crisis_response  Tim_Geithner  moral_hazards  financial_crises 
may 2017 by jerryking
What Is the President’s Daily Brief? - The New York Times
By CHARLIE SAVAGEDEC. 12, 2016

The President’s Daily Brief is a summary of high-level intelligence and analysis about global hot spots and national security threats written by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. While the intelligence community produces many reports and assessments, the P.D.B. is written specifically for the president and his top advisers....The intelligence community tailors the P.D.B. to each president’s interests and style of absorbing information. At times, the briefing has included a “deep dive” into a specific question that a president may have asked or information that briefers believed he needed to know, such as the early August 2001 briefing Mr. Bush received at his Texas ranch reporting that Osama Bin Laden was determined to strike inside the United States. After the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Mr. Bush received a supplement called the “threat matrix,” which listed more detailed intelligence about potential terrorist plans. Under Mr. Obama, the brief has taken on some new topics and different forms, including a periodic update on cyberthreats against the United States. ....getting the briefing every day is not strictly necessary, especially if Mr. Trump delegates substantial amounts of authority to his subordinates. But they stress that regular briefings are still important because it is helpful in a fast-moving crisis if a president already has a baseline of knowledge about topics, such as a foreign leader’s thinking and military abilities. Also, briefings permit a president to quiz briefers on inconsistencies and questions of fact or interpretation that form the basis for the most important national security decisions — those only the president can make.
cyberthreats  PDB  security_&_intelligence  CIA  memoranda  White_House  hotspots  threats  ODNI  baselines  inconsistencies  interpretation  decision_making 
december 2016 by jerryking
From Michael Lewis, a Portrait of the Men Who Shaped ‘Moneyball’ - The New York Times
By ALEXANDRA ALTERDEC. 3, 2016
Lewis decided to explore how it started.

The inquiry led him to the work of two Israeli psychologists, Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman, whose discoveries challenged long-held beliefs about human nature and the way the mind works.

Mr. Lewis chronicles their unusual partnership in his new book, “The Undoing Project,” a story about two unconventional thinkers who saw the world differently from everyone around them. Their peculiar area of research — how humans make decisions, often irrationally — has had profound implications for an array of fields, like professional sports, the military, medicine, politics, finance and public health.....Tversky and Kahneman's research demonstrating how people behave in fundamentally irrational ways when making decisions, relying on their gut rather than available data, gave rise to the field of behavioral economics. That discipline attracted Paul DePodesta, a Harvard student, who later went into sports management and helped upend professional baseball when he went to work for Mr. Beane.....Unlike many nonfiction writers, Mr. Lewis declines to take advances, which he calls “corrupting,” even though he could easily earn seven figures. Instead, he splits the profits from the books, as well as the advertising and production costs, with Norton. The setup spurs him to work harder and to make more money if the books are successful, he says.

“You should have the risk and you should enjoy the reward,” he said. “It’s not healthy for an author not to have the risk.”
Amos_Tversky  Michael_Lewis  Moneyball  books  book_reviews  unconventional_thinking  biases  cognitive_skills  unknowns  information_gaps  humility  pretense_of_knowledge  overconfidence  conventional_wisdom  overestimation  metacognition  behavioural_economics  irrationality  decision_making  nonfiction  writers  self-awareness  self-analysis  self-reflective  proclivities  Daniel_Kahneman  psychologists  delusions  self-delusions  skin_in_the_game  gut_feelings  risk-taking  partnerships 
december 2016 by jerryking
The strong, skinny type: Today’s male body ideal is more than just being fit - The Globe and Mail
SIMON LEWSEN
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015

.....If the body-image demands on women are absurdly restrictive, the pressures on young men are weirdly contradictory: Weekend guy rituals with pitchers, nachos and wings are difficult to reconcile with the lean ideal. These disparities play out in popular culture. For every laid-back Seth Rogen, there’s a shredded Channing Tatum; for every fluctuating Jonah Hill, there’s a consistently slender Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

In the midst of these conflicting pressures, guys such as Lukac and Hayos have found a solution: Weekday discipline is a licence for weekend permissiveness. “My rule is eat clean and healthy most of the time,” says Lukac. “But if I’m going to indulge in something, there’s going to be no guilt follow-up. I’m going to eat that meal, and that’s going to be it.”

Similarly, Hayos aims for an 80/20 split between clean living and dude excess. The equilibrium sometimes veers in wild directions – “At my age, I’m going out a lot, drinking a lot, so I live a balanced lifestyle, but it’s on the extremes” – but the see-saw routine works for him. Sure, it’s intense, but I’ve met artists, musicians and software designers who are just as committed to their hobbies as Hayos is to his..... I spoke to enough stable, self-aware guys to be convinced that intensive exercise can be gratifying and psychologically healthy. But it’s not just about fitness. It’s an emotional thing, too. Virtually every man I spoke with remembers a moment – the discovery of thinning hair or a sudden spike in weight during university – that made him want to regain control.

Working out is about the desire to take command of our unpredictable bodies. It’s an attempt – sometimes remarkably successful, if only in the short run – to dictate the terms on which our bodies will change instead of letting aging and genetics take the lead.
BMI  body-image  cardiovascular  conscious_spending  decision_making  exercise  fitness  guilt-free  sense_of_control  strength_training 
october 2016 by jerryking
Make Algorithms Accountable
AUG. 1, 2016 | The New York Times | By JULIA ANGWIN.

An algorithm is a procedure or set of instructions often used by a computer to solve a problem. Many algorithms are secret. ....Algorithms are ubiquitous in our lives. They map out the best route to our destination and help us find new music based on what we listen to now. But they are also being employed to inform fundamental decisions about our lives:
résumés sorting, credit scoring, prediction of a defendant’s future criminality.....as we rapidly enter the era of automated decision making, we should demand more than warning labels [about the algorithms that are being used].

A better goal would be to try to at least meet, if not exceed, the accountability standard set by a president not otherwise known for his commitment to transparency, Richard Nixon: the right to examine and challenge the data used to make algorithmic decisions about us.

Algorithms should come with warning labels. Obama White House called for automated decision-making tools to be tested for fairness, and for the development of “algorithmic auditing.”
tools  automation  decision_making  algorithms  data_driven  transparency  fairness  Richard_Nixon  proprietary  accountability  biases 
august 2016 by jerryking
Decisions, decisions ... the five most critical for a leader - The Globe and Mail
Nov. 26, 2015 | Special to The Globe and Mail | ROY OSING

How do you spend your decision-making time? There are numerous possibilities when it comes to which decisions to make yourself and those that you leave for others.

How do you determine the “my decision” areas?

The criteria I used was payback. Where could I add the greatest value to the organization?

It’s not about what you enjoy doing or where your strengths are; it’s about where others will realize the maximum benefit if you focus your decision-making time there.

....Decide on these five strategic issues. These must be owned by the leader and no one else.

(1) The strategic game plan for the organization
(2) The values that shape culture
(3) The talent that gets recruited
(4) The “customer moment” architecture
(5) Aligning activities to the game plan

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
On a basic level, a “customer moment” is any interaction between an employee and a customer. Needless to say, customer moments can occur at any time, and with this in mind, businesses are employing strategies to make sure every customer moment is a positive one. With the world becoming more and more connected, via the internet and social media, the potential for customer moments increases exponentially. When you factor in other recent innovations, such as the rise of smart phones and tablets, the sheer amount of potential customer moments becomes astronomical. This has led to the rise of self-service portals, where customers can receive help on many common customer service issues, such as troubleshooting. Businesses have opened up other channels for customer service as well, such as email and chat support.
leaders  decision_making  priorities  focus  serving_others  payback  talent  strategies  values  customer_experience  CEOs  value_creation  moments  organizational_culture  value_added  ROI  criteria  Roy_Osing 
may 2016 by jerryking
Eight steps to making better decisions as a manager - The Globe and Mail
HARVEY SCHACHTER
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Sunday, May 08, 2016

Write down the key facts that need to be considered. Too often we jump into decisions and ignore the obvious.

Write down five pre-existing goals or priorities that will be affected by the decision.

Write down realistic alternatives – at least three, but ideally four or more.

Write down what’s missing. Information used to be scarce. Now it’s so abundant it can distract us from checking what’s missing (jk: i.e. the commoditization of information)

Write down the impact your decision will have one year in the future. By thinking a year out, you are separating yourself from the immediate moment, lessening emotions. [Reminiscent of Suzy Welch’s 10-10-10 rule. When you’re about to make a decision, ask yourself how you will feel about it 10 minutes from now? 10 months from now? and 10 years from now? People are overly biased by the immediate pain of some choice, but they can put the short-term pain in long-term perspective by asking these questions].

Involve at least two more people in the decision but no more than six additional team members. This ensures less bias, more perspectives, and since more people contributed to the decision, increased buy-in when implementing it.

Write down what was decided, as well as why and how much the team supports the decision.

Schedule a follow-up in one to two months.
Harvey_Schachter  decision_making  goals  buy-in  options  unknowns  following_up  note_taking  dissension  perspectives  biases  information_gaps  long-term  dispassion  alternatives  think_threes  unsentimental  Suzy_Welch  commoditization_of_information  process-orientation 
may 2016 by jerryking
The Choice Explosion - The New York Times
David Brooks MAY 3, 2016

Americans have always put great emphasis on individual choice. But even by our own standards we’ve had a choice explosion over the past 30 years.....making decisions well is incredibly difficult....It’s becoming incredibly important to learn to decide well, to develop the techniques of self-distancing to counteract the flaws in our own mental machinery....assume positive intent (i.e. when in the midst of some conflict, start with the belief that others are well intentioned).....People are overly biased by the immediate pain of some choice, but they can put the short-term pain in long-term perspective by asking these questions [Suzy Welch’s 10-10-10 rule. When you’re about to make a decision, ask yourself how you will feel about it 10 minutes from now? 10 months from now? and 10 years from now?]....make deliberate mistakes....our tendency to narrow-frame, to see every decision as a binary “whether or not” alternative. Whenever you find yourself asking “whether or not,” it’s best to step back and ask, “How can I widen my options?” In other words, before you ask, “Should I fire this person?” Ask, “Is there any way I can shift this employee’s role to take advantage of his strengths and avoid his weaknesses?”....It’s important to offer opportunity and incentives. But we also need lessons in self-awareness — on exactly how our decision-making tool is fundamentally flawed, and on mental frameworks we can adopt to avoid messing up even more than we do.
David_Brooks  choices  decision_making  biases  thinking_deliberatively  scarcity  self-awareness  metacognition  binary_decisionmaking  abundance  optionality  narrow-framing  Suzy_Welch  wide-framing  self-distancing 
may 2016 by jerryking
The Choices That Led Small Business Owners to Wealth - The New York Times
FEB. 12, 2016 | NYT | By PAUL SULLIVAN

have to make decisions to professionalize the business, put systems in place and have a plan that allows them to do longer-term planning. Those decisions can make the difference between being a small-business owner and a business executive with significant wealth....“There is no bright-line test when a company gets to a certain size or age to do these things,” said Kevin M. Harris, head of the family business group at Northern Trust. “It is based on where the company wants to go.”

Determining which decisions were the ones that made the difference is sometimes not an easy task, and the stories that are retold are often the ones that turned out well. Yet it is worth considering what can go wrong.

Entrepreneurs who failed to find success were often resistant to change
small_business  wealth_creation  decision_making  entrepreneur  risk-taking  mindsets  JCK  thinking_tragically  Northern_Trust  owners  private_banking  choices  internal_systems  professionalization  high_net_worth 
february 2016 by jerryking
The Analytics Mandate
May 12, 2014

by: DAVID KIRON, PAMELA KIRK PRENTICE AND RENEE BOUCHER FERGUSON
analytics  MIT  decision_making  data_driven  LBMA  location_based_services 
september 2015 by jerryking
Mastering the Art of Problem Solving
When President Bill Clinton chose to intervene in the Somali civil war in 1993, the Battle of Mogadishu resulted in thousands of Somali citizens killed, two American Black Hawk helicopters shot down,…

WHAT ABOUT THE DATA?
Increasing amounts of data can be unmanageable, and the problem of sorting through data overloads may only worsen in this digital era. Rather than looking at each bit of information as a discrete data point, we want to look at our drivers and sort the data according to which driver it supports--on other words, sort the data into each of the half-dozen or so driver categories, so analysts have few piles to deal with rather than a thousand discrete data points.
decision_making  howto  problem_solving  problem_framing  security_&_intelligence  CIA  books  information_overload  analysis  interviews  critical_thinking  book_reviews  Philip_Mudd  frameworks  insights  sorting  analysts  thinking_backwards  problem_definition  intelligence_analysts 
may 2015 by jerryking
Water Data Deluge: Addressing the California Drought Requires Access to Accurate Data - The CIO Report - WSJ
April 22, 2015| WSJ | By KIM S. NASH.

California, now in its fourth year of drought, is collecting more data than ever from utilities, municipalities and other water providers about just how much water flows through their pipes....The data-collection process, built on monthly self-reporting and spreadsheets, is critical to informing such policy decisions, which affect California’s businesses and 38.8 million residents. Some say the process, with a built-in lag time of two weeks between data collection and actionable reports, could be better, allowing for more effective, fine-tuned management of water.

“More data and better data will allow for more nuanced approaches and potentially allow the water system to function more efficiently,”...“Right now, there are inefficiencies in the system and they don’t know exactly where, so they have to resort to blanket policy responses.”...the State Water Resources Control Board imports the data into a spreadsheet to tabulate and compare with prior months. Researchers then cleanse the data, find and resolve anomalies and create graphics to show what’s happened with water in the last month. The process takes about 2 weeks....accuracy is an issue in any self-reporting scenario...while data management could be improved by installing smart meters to feed information directly to the Control Board automatically... there are drawbacks to any technology. Smart meters can fail, for example. “The nice thing about spreadsheets is anyone can open it up and immediately see everything there,”
lag_time  water  California  data  spreadsheets  inefficiencies  municipalities  utilities  bureaucracies  droughts  vulnerabilities  self-reporting  decision_making  Industrial_Internet  SPOF  bottlenecks  data_management  data_quality  data_capture  data_collection 
april 2015 by jerryking
The Dangers and Opportunities in a Crisis
October 7, 2012 | NYTimes.com | By HUGO DIXON, Hugo Dixon is the founder and editor of Reuters Breakingviews.

Wherever one turns — politics, business, medicine, ecology, psychology, virtually every field of human activity — people talk about crises. But what are they, how do they develop and what can people do to change their course?

The first thing to say is that a crisis is not just a bad situation. When the word is used that way, it is devalued. The etymology is from the ancient Greek: krisis, or judgment. The Greek Orthodox Church uses the term when it talks about the Final Judgment — when sinners go to hell, but the virtuous end up in heaven. The Chinese have a similar concept: The characters for crisis combine parts of those for danger and opportunity.

A crisis is a point when people have to make rapid choices under extreme pressure, normally after something unhealthy has been exposed in a system. To use two other Greek words, one path can lead to chaos; another to catharsis or purification.

A crisis is certainly a test of character. It can be scary. Think of wars; environmental collapses that destroy civilizations of the sort charted in Jared Diamond’s book “Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed”; mass unemployment; or individual depression that leads to suicide.

But the outcome can also be beneficial. This applies whether one is managing the aftermath of the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy, the current euro crisis, the destruction of an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico or an individual’s midlife crisis. Much depends on how the protagonists act.

Students of crises are fond of dividing them into phases. For example, Charles Kindleberger’s “Manias, Panics, and Crashes: A History of Financial Crises” identifies five phases of a financial crisis: an exogenous, normally positive, shock to the system; a bubble in which people exaggerate the benefits of that shock; distress when some investors realize that the game cannot last; the crash; and finally a depression.

Although there is much to commend in Mr. Kindleberger’s system, it is too rigid to account for all crises in all fields. It also downplays the possibility that decision makers can change the course of a crisis. A more flexible scheme that leaves space for human agency to affect how events turn out has just two phases: the bubble and the crash......The bubble is typically characterized by mania and denial. Things are going well — or, at least, appear to be. Feedback loops end up magnifying confidence...............Manic individuals do not know their limitations and end up taking excessive risks — whether on a personal level or in managing an organization or an entire economy. As the ancient Greeks said, hubris comes before nemesis........But before that, there is denial. People do not wish to recognize that there is a fundamental sickness in a system, especially when they are doing so well........The ethical imperative in this phase is to burst the bubble before it gets too big. That, in turn, means both being able to spot a bubble and having the courage to stop the party before it gets out of hand. Neither is easy. It is hard to recognize a sickness, given that there is usually some ideology that explains away the mania as a new normal. The few naysayers can be ridiculed by those who benefit from the continuation of the status quo.

What is more, politicians, business leaders and investors rarely have long-term horizons. So even if they have an inkling that things are not sustainable, they may still have an incentive to prolong the bubble.......The crash, by contrast, is characterized by panic and scapegoating. People fear that the system could collapse. Negative feedback loops are in operation: The loss of confidence breeds further losses in confidence. This is apparent on an individual level as much as on a macro one.

..Events move extremely fast, and decisions have to be made rapidly........The key challenge is to make effective decisions that avoid vicious spirals while not embracing short-term fixes that fail to address the fundamental issues. With the euro crisis, for example, it is important to improve competitiveness with structural reforms and not just rely on liquidity injections from the European Central Bank.

In this phase, no one denies that there is a problem. But there is often no agreement over what has gone wrong. Protagonists are reluctant to accept their share of the responsibility but instead seek to blame others. Such scapegoating, though, prevents people from reforming a system fundamentally so that similar crises do not recur......Crises will always be a feature of life. The best that humanity can do is to make sure it does not repeat the same ones. And the main way to evolve — both during a bubble and after a crash — is to strive to be honest about what is sick in a system. That way, crises will not go to waste.
blaming_fingerpointing  books  bubbles  clarity  crisis  dangers  decision_making  economic_downturn  Jared_Diamond  market_crash  opportunities  risks  scapegoating  societal_choices 
february 2015 by jerryking
Your Worst Enemy in a Negotiation? Look in the Mirror. - At Work - WSJ
Jan 23, 2015 | WSJ | By LAUREN WEBER.

"our most stubborn and challenging opponent is ourselves."

the most difficult person we have to deal with is the person we look at in the mirror in the morning. It’s our innate tendency to react, which is to act without thinking, out of anger or fear, that we later come to regret. [The writer] Ambrose Bierce said, “When you’re angry, you will make the best speech you’ll ever regret.”

WSJ: Why are we so easily knocked off kilter?

Ury: Human beings are designed evolutionarily to be reaction machines. That’s built in from the time we had to react quickly if there was a big cat in the neighborhood, and that was very appropriate then. But it’s not very appropriate when you're in a Manhattan office building. I also think we’re under a lot more stress than we ever were before, and when you're more stressed, you're more reactive.

WSJ: How do you end self-sabotage?

Ury: These are things we already know, but maybe we don't practice them. For example, I talk about ‘going to the balcony,’ which I use as a metaphor for taking a timeout (jk: power of the pause).

You have to imagine that you’re negotiating on a stage and part of your mind goes to a balcony, where you look down on yourself. It gives you perspective, self-control, calm. The problem is, when the stakes are high, you're worried and you get distracted from negotiating your best..... to be more effective in stressful situations, quiet our minds and focus on what our intentions are.
WSJ: The term BATNA is crucial to your method. What is a BATNA?

Ury: Your ‘Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement.’ It’s your best course of action if you can’t reach agreement with the other side. So if you’re negotiating with a boss, if you don't like this job, can you get another one? If you have a serious dispute with a customer or supplier, can you take this up with a mediator or arbitrator or go to court? Every negotiation takes place within the shadow of that alternative. It’s probably the major determinant of leverage or power.

And yet what I find is we just focus on getting the agreement and we become so dependent on it that we’re give up anything to get it. So a BATNA gives you a sense of freedom, knowing you can walk away.

For this book, the focus is on getting to the inner BATNA, a commitment to ourselves and our basic needs. If you can do that, you can negotiate from a place of inner strength, inner confidence.
BATNA  Communicating_&_Connecting  decision_making  emotional_mastery  inner_strengths  negotiations  power_of_the_pause  self-improvement  self-sabotage  stressful  timeouts 
january 2015 by jerryking
2014’s lessons for leaders: Don’t make assumptions, do make hard decisions - The Globe and Mail
BOB RAE
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Dec. 26 2014,

Life has a way of lifting you by the lapels and giving you a good shake. Stuff happens, and when it does, it can throw all the steady paths predicted by pundits, pollsters and economic forecasters into the trash heap....Canadians are fixated on who the winners and losers of the "where will oil prices head" game ...but we need to lift our heads a bit. Russia’s falling ruble and the debt crisis of its elites and their companies have rightly grabbed headlines. But a couple of countries, notably Nigeria and Venezuela, are now in political crisis, and their very stability is at risk in the days ahead.

One of the implications of the 2008 world economic crisis is that regional and world institutions have much less room to manoeuvre and help sort things out. it will be harder for those agencies (EU, IMF) to do as much as is required. Stability doesn’t come cheap....a healthy dose of reality and skepticism is always a good idea. In a useful piece of advice, Rudyard Kipling reminded us that triumph and disaster are both imposters. People draw too many conclusions from current trends. They fail to understand that those trends can change. And that above all, they forget that events can get in the way....One clear lesson is for leaders everywhere to learn the importance of listening and engagement. The path to resolution of even the thorniest of problems...involves less rhetoric and bluster and a greater capacity to understand underlying interests and grievances. ... Engagement should never mean appeasement.
Bob_Rae  pundits  decision_making  leaders  unintended_consequences  predictions  WWI  humility  Toronto  traffic_congestion  crisis  instability  listening  engagement  unpredictability  Rudyard_Kipling  petro-politics  imposters  short-sightedness  amnesia_bias  interests  grievances  appeasement  hard_choices 
december 2014 by jerryking
From War Room to Boardroom: Leadership Lessons From Two Generals - WSJ
Dec. 8, 2014 | WSJ |

Start to build relationships so that you have something to fall back on when you disagree on the issues.

What leadership lessons should we take from the American experience in Iraq and Afghanistan?

GEN. MCCHRYSTAL: The first thing is we didn’t do due diligence before we went in. We didn’t understand the problem to the depth that we needed to. We didn’t take the time to do it, and we didn’t nurture the experts.

If we gathered all the Pashtun and Arabic speakers in the U.S. military, we could probably fit them on this stage. And yet, after World War II began, after Pearl Harbor, we trained more than 5,000 military members to speak Japanese. We just haven’t made that level of effort.

The other thing is we go at this with different parts of our government. Every agency wants to help but they want to protect their equities, and you can’t do a complex endeavor like this unless you can build a truly integrated team in which everybody is focused.
leadership  lessons_learned  shared_consciousness  operational_tempo  Stanley_McChrystal  teams  NSC  security_&_intelligence  generalship  ISIS  al_Qaeda  Taliban  learning_organizations  adaptability  decision_making  speed  languages  Arabic  Pashtun  relationships 
december 2014 by jerryking
How the big-data revolution can help design ideal cities - The Globe and Mail
DAVE MCGINN
The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Sep. 24 2014

The big-data revolution faces two key challenges, both concerning the collection of information.

First, as is always the case when it comes to monitoring individuals and collecting details about their lives, is privacy. Second, there is the issue of using that data responsibly....Once municipalities have that consent, there is then the issue of harmonizing data sets in order to gain a fuller picture of issues. For instance, if a municipality wants to understand water-consumption levels, it helps to know how they track weather patterns.

Many cities are still struggling to understand how to use big data, but it promises to be a hugely important urban-planning tool.
algorithms  IBM  real-time  urban  sensors  municipalities  massive_data_sets  cities  data  decision_making  privacy  urban_planning  open_data 
september 2014 by jerryking
To Keep Your Customers, Keep It Simple -
May 2012 | Harvard Business Review |by Patrick Spenner and Karen Freeman
marketing  information_overload  decision_making  brands  branding  simplicity  HBR 
september 2014 by jerryking
Your brain has limited capacity: Here's how to maximize it
Aug. 24 2014 | - The Globe and Mail | WENCY LEUNG.

Daniel Levitin explains in his new book, The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload, the evolution of the human brain hasn’t caught up with the demands of today’s world....The brain has a limited capacity to process information and juggle multiple tasks. But Levitin, a professor of psychology and behavioural neuroscience at McGill University, says we can help the brain do its job more efficiently by organizing our lives around how it functions. By using so-called brain extenders, methods that offload some of the brain’s functions, we can help declutter our thoughts and sharpen memories....Lessons learned:
(1) Evaluate the probabilities. To better systematize your approach to decision-making, use Bayesian inferencing which involves updating one’s estimates of probabilities, based on increasingly refining the information available.
(2) Take the time to write it down. Writing stuff down, improves the chances of it getting imprinted on your brain. Writing things down also conserves mental energy that you would otherwise expend fretting about forgetting them. Don’t settle for organizing your thoughts with notebooks and to-do lists. Levitin suggests writing them on index cards--which can be re-sorted.
(3) Your friendships could use a reminder. Actively organizing data about your social world to allow you to have more meaningful interactions. This means taking notes when you meet new people that help you contextualize your link to them, such as who made the introduction and whether you share any hobbies, and using memory “ticklers,” such as setting a reminder on your electronic calendar every few months to check in with friends if you haven’t heard from them in a while.
(4) When in doubt, toss it in a junk drawer. There is an important purpose for the junk drawer. It allows you to cut down on time and mental energy spent making trivial decisions.
cognitive_skills  thinking  information_overload  decision_making  books  friendships  decluttering  contextual  probabilities  journaling  Daniel_Levitin  sorting  pruning  note_taking  Bayesian  memorization  systematic_approaches  organizing_data 
august 2014 by jerryking
M.I.T.'s Alex Pentland: Measuring Idea Flows to Accelerate Innovation - NYTimes.com - NYTimes.com
April 15, 2014 | NYT | By STEVE LOHR.

Alex Pentland --“Social Physics: How Good Ideas Spread — The Lesson From a New Science.”

Mr. Pentland has been identified with concepts — and terms he has coined — related to the collection and interpretation of all that data, like “honest signals” and “reality mining.” His descriptive phrases are intended to make his point that not all data in the big data world is equal....Reality mining, for example, examines the data about what people are actually doing rather than what they are looking for or saying. Tracking a person’s movements during the day via smartphone GPS signals and credit-card transactions, he argues, are far more significant than a person’s web-browsing habits or social media comments....Central to the concept of social physics is the ability to measure communication and transactions as never before. Then, that knowledge about the flow of ideas can be used to accelerate the pace of innovation.

The best decision-making environment, Mr. Pentland says, is one with high levels of both “engagement” and “exploration.” Engagement is a measure of how often people in a group communicate with each other, sharing social knowledge. Exploration is a measure of seeking out new ideas and new people.

A golden mean is the ideal....[traders] with a balance of diversity of ideas in their trading network — engagement and exploration — had returns that were 30 percent ahead of isolated traders and well ahead of the echo chamber traders, too....The new data and measurement tools, he writes, allow for a “God’s eye view” of human activity. And with that knowledge, he adds, comes the potential to engineer better decisions in a “data-driven society.”
Alex_Pentland  books  cross-pollination  curiosity  data_scientists  data_driven  decision_making  massive_data_sets  MIT  Mydata  sensors  social_physics  Steve_Lohr  idea_generation  heterogeneity  ideas  intellectual_diversity  traders  social_data  signals  echo_chambers 
april 2014 by jerryking
Small Data: Why Tinder-like apps are the way of the future — Medium
+++++++++++++++++++++++
The card-based UI updates the classic way in which we’ve always interacted with physical cards. When you think about it, cards are nothing more than bite-size presentations of concrete information. They’re the natural evolution of the newsfeed, which is useful for reading stories but not for making decisions.
++++++++++++++++++++++++
Cards are kind of natural choice for mobile screens because of their size and shape. But lay your cards on the table or put them on a board and they will also help you in revealing connections, understanding the topic and making decisions.
++++++++++++++++++++++++

every single interaction with card-swiping apps can affect the outcome.

We can call it small data. Imagine if every time you made a yes or no decision on Tinder, the app learned what kind of profiles you tended to like, and it showed you profiles based on this information in the future.

“With swipes on Tinder, the act of navigating through content is merged with inputting an action on that content,” says Rad. That means that every time a user browses profiles, it generates personal behavioral data.
bite-sized  Tinder  small_data  ux  design  decision_making  information_overload  behavioural_data  metadata  gestures  Snapchat  personal_data 
march 2014 by jerryking
Yes, the Wealthy Can Be Deserving
FEB. 15, 2014 | NYT | By N. GREGORY MANKIW.

Actors, authors, and athletes do not make up the entire ranks of the rich. Most top earners make their fortunes in ways that are less transparent to the public.... the most natural explanation of high C.E.O. pay is that the value of a good C.E.O. is extraordinarily high.

That is hardly a surprise. A typical chief executive is overseeing billions of dollars of shareholder wealth as well as thousands of employees. The value of making the right decisions is tremendous. Just consider the role of Steve Jobs in the rise of Apple and its path-breaking products....A similar case is the finance industry, where many hefty compensation packages can be found. There is no doubt that this sector plays a crucial economic role. Those who work in banking, venture capital and other financial firms are in charge of allocating the economy’s investment resources. They decide, in a decentralized and competitive way, which companies and industries will shrink and which will grow. It makes sense that a nation would allocate many of its most talented and thus highly compensated individuals to the task.
high_net_worth  income_distribution  winner-take-all  the_one_percent  CEOs  compensation  private_equity  income_inequality  talent  breakthroughs  Steve_Jobs  finance  capital_allocation  decision_making 
february 2014 by jerryking
Subways for riders, not voters - The Globe and Mail
The Globe and Mail

Published Tuesday, Oct. 29 2013,

To govern is to choose, and to choose poorly is to govern badly. A public dollar spent in one place means a dollar less to spend anywhere else. Money squandered over here spells belt-tightening over there. Welcome, friends, to the saga of Toronto public transit....Some of the transit problems have to do with a simple lack of public spending on transit. But a lot of what’s ailing the GTA is about what’s been done within the budget envelope. There have been so many completely wrongheaded spending decisions. And they’ve been motivated by transit politics, not transit economics....

In the 1970s, a subway was driven up the centre of the low-density Allen Expressway. A few years later, provincial industrial policy foisted an overpriced, rickety, made-in-Ontario technology onto the Scarborough Rapid Transit line. The nineties brought the Sheppard subway; transit in the centre of Toronto groans from an excess of demand, in part because so many precious public dollars were sunk into a subway whose ridership is lower than the busiest downtown streetcar route. Governments – municipal, provincial and even federal – time and again pushed for big-ticket projects that impress a desired group of voters far more than they serve real transit users.
editorials  Toronto  politics  transit  policy  misrule  mismanagement  decision_making  Octothorpe_Software  public_transit  public_spending  budgets  budgeting  choices  transit_politics  transit_economics 
october 2013 by jerryking
Keeping Up With Your Quants
July-August 2013 | HBR | Thomas Davenport.

Article places people into two buckets, as either producers or consumers of analytics. Producers are, of course, good at gathering the available data and making predictions about the future. But most lack sufficient knowledge to identify hypotheses and relevant variables and to know when the ground beneath an organization is shifting. Your job as a data consumer is to generate hypotheses and determine whether results and recommendations make sense in a changing business environment—is therefore critically important....Learn a little about analytics.
If you remember the content of your college-level statistics course, you may be fine. If not, bone up on the basics of regression analysis, statistical inference, and experimental design.

Focus on the beginning and the end.
Ask lots of questions along the way.
Establish a culture of inquiry, not advocacy.
HBR  Thomas_Davenport  massive_data_sets  data_scientists  data  data_driven  howto  analytics  decision_making  quants  questions  endgame  curiosity 
july 2013 by jerryking
What It Takes to Make New College Graduates Employable - NYTimes.com
By ALINA TUGEND
Published: June 28, 2013

When it comes to the skills most needed by employers, job candidates are lacking most in written and oral communication skills, adaptability and managing multiple priorities, and making decisions and problem solving,”
Colleges_&_Universities  Managing_Your_Career  new_graduates  decision_making  college-educated  problem_solving 
june 2013 by jerryking
Sizing Up Big Data, Broadening Beyond the Internet - NYTimes.com
June 19, 2013 | NYT | By STEVE LOHR.

The story is the same in one field after another, in science, politics, crime prevention, public health, sports and industries as varied as energy and advertising. All are being transformed by data-driven discovery and decision-making. The pioneering consumer Internet companies, like Google, Facebook and Amazon, were just the start, experts say. Today, data tools and techniques are used for tasks as varied as predicting neighborhood blocks where crimes are most likely to occur and injecting intelligence into hulking industrial machines, like electrical power generators.

Big Data is the shorthand label for the phenomenon, which embraces technology, decision-making and public policy. Supplying the technology is a fast-growing market, increasing at more than 30 percent a year and likely to reach $24 billion by 2016, according to a forecast by IDC, a research firm. All the major technology companies, and a host of start-ups, are aggressively pursuing the business.

Demand is brisk for people with data skills. The McKinsey Global Institute, the research arm of the consulting firm, projects that the United States needs 140,000 to 190,000 more workers with “deep analytical” expertise and 1.5 million more data-literate managers, whether retrained or hired, by 2020.
massive_data_sets  Steve_Lohr  data_scientists  data_driven  open_data  neighbourhoods  decision_making  public  McKinsey 
june 2013 by jerryking
Bill Marriott Jr., on Inclusive Decision-Making - NYTimes.com
By

ADAM BRYANT

Published: May 25, 2013

In later years, I realized I’d failed to get them on the team. I had walked in and said: “Here, do it. I’m an officer. Salute and do it.” They ignored me and didn’t do it, and we still had lousy food when I left the ship. I realized that I should have sat down with them and said, “What do you think we can do to improve the food?” ... I tried to adopt that style of management as I progressed in life, by asking my people, “What do you think?” Now, I didn’t always go with what they thought. But I felt that if I included them in the decision-making process, and asked them what they thought, and I listened to what they had to say and considered it, they usually got on board because they knew they’d been respected and heard, even if I went in a different direction than what they were recommending. ...The four most important words in the English language are, “What do you think?” Listen to your people and learn.
decision_making  leadership  hoteliers  inclusiveness  Marriott  lessons_learned 
may 2013 by jerryking
Supply chain models for small agricultural enterprises
Oct 2011 |Annals of Operations Research: 359-374 | by Wooseung Jang and Cerry M. Klein.
supply_chains  farming  agriculture  decision_making 
march 2013 by jerryking
What Data Can’t Do - NYTimes.com
By DAVID BROOKS
Published: February 18, 2013

there are many things big data does poorly. Let’s note a few in rapid-fire fashion:

* Data struggles with the social. Your brain is pretty bad at math (quick, what’s the square root of 437), but it’s excellent at social cognition. People are really good at mirroring each other’s emotional states, at detecting uncooperative behavior and at assigning value to things through emotion.
* Data struggles with context. Human decisions are embedded in contexts. The human brain has evolved to account for this reality...Data analysis is pretty bad at narrative and emergent thinking.
* Data creates bigger haystacks. This is a point Nassim Taleb, the author of “Antifragile,” has made. As we acquire more data, we have the ability to find many, many more statistically significant correlations. Most of these correlations are spurious and deceive us when we’re trying to understand a situation.
* Big data has trouble with big (e.g. societal) problems.
* Data favors memes over masterpieces. Data analysis can detect when large numbers of people take an instant liking to some cultural product. But many important (and profitable) products are hated initially because they are unfamiliar. [The unfamiliar has to accomplish behavioural change / bridge cultural divides]
* Data obscures hidden/implicit value judgements. I recently saw an academic book with the excellent title, “ ‘Raw Data’ Is an Oxymoron.” One of the points was that data is never raw; it’s always structured according to somebody’s predispositions and values. The end result looks disinterested, but, in reality, there are value choices all the way through, from construction to interpretation.

This is not to argue that big data isn’t a great tool. It’s just that, like any tool, it’s good at some things and not at others. As the Yale professor Edward Tufte has said, “The world is much more interesting than any one discipline.”
massive_data_sets  David_Brooks  data_driven  decision_making  data  Nassim_Taleb  contrarians  skepticism  new_graduates  contextual  risks  social_cognition  self-deception  correlations  value_judgements  haystacks  narratives  memes  unfamiliarity  naivete  hidden  Edward_Tufte  emotions  antifragility  behavioral_change  new_products  cultural_products  masterpieces  EQ  emotional_intelligence 
february 2013 by jerryking
The agonies of too much choice
January 6, 2006 | Financial Times | by Robert Matthews.

Most people are easily overwhelmed by variety. Robert Matthews explores how this affects decisions from healthcare to mobile phones
The more options that were offered, the higher the probability of people avoiding complexity by walking away.....the level of choice offered to consumers should be tailored to their level of expertise, to reduce the risk that they deal with the complexity by walking away.
decision_making  psychology  choices  abundance  overwhelmed 
february 2013 by jerryking
Era Of The Super Cruncher
September 15, 2007 | - Newsweek and The Daily Beast | by Jerry Adler
data_mining  data  competingonanalytics  books  intuition  decision_making  Yale  data_driven 
january 2013 by jerryking
A Few Necessary Precautions Before You Buy That Business
May 1991 | Profit-Building Strategies for Business Owners |

Buying a business takes great care. The first decision is what type of business to buy. For most people. it is best to choose a field in which they have had some experience. Sources for businesses up for sale include classified advertisements, business brokers. and informal networking. Next is a thorough investigation based on care and common sense. An initial question to ask is why the present owner is selling. The next step is to carefully examine the business. At this stage. an attorney and accountant can help check business books by looking for discrepancies in records of sales, earnings. and expenses. It is also important to check for pending lawsuits. If the sale involves real estate. it is vital to check for records of undisclosed liabilities. The next step is to determine how to finance the business. Usually. the new owner must put down of the purchase price and finance the balance. Sources for the remaining financing include the Small Business Administration. banks, and commercial lenders.
buying_a_business  CAMEX  mergers_&_acquisitions  M&A  decision_making  owners  precaution 
january 2013 by jerryking
Making the Change From Middle Manager To a Seat at the Top - WSJ.com
July 7, 1998 | WSJ | By HAL LANCASTER

Less surprising, delivering results matters. Thinking strategically, being persuasive, being politically adroit and having a "significantly broader organizational awareness" also tend to make up a successful manager, ...Earn respect for being exceptionally good at what you do and show that you can run a business independently. Translation: Deliver results without a lot of hand-holding....a seldom-mentioned trait: consistency. "They must show consistency in the decisions they make and in their behavior," ..."A lot of people fail to make the next move because they really don't understand" how to assess risk," she says. "Or they don't have a Plan B."
Hal_Lancaster  ksfs  Managing_Your_Career  movingonup  executive_management  risk-assessment  risk-management  contingency_planning  JCK  transitions  companywide  middle_management  consistency  decision_making  Plan_B  off-plan  hand-holding  strategic_thinking  personal_accomplishments 
december 2012 by jerryking
Effective Leadership Skills of Barack Obama in Crisis | Effective Leadership Skills Blog
September 15, 2012 by successtv
1. Stay Confident.
2. Get Diverse Opinions.
3. Ask the right questions.
Obama  decision_making  probabilities  asking_the_right_questions 
october 2012 by jerryking
Elect your local hypocrite
June 12, 2004 | G&M | Doug Saunders.

Hypocrisy now has the backing of science. Keith Stanovich, a cognitive scientist at the University of Toronto, has built a strong scientific case in defence of hypocn'sy

Mr. Stanovich, in his fascinating book The Robot's Rebellion, defines hypocrisy as the collision of first-order and second-order thought. First-order thought consists of the basic, animal desires promoted by our genes — reproduction, self-preservation, mate-finding, nest-building, self-aggrandizement and personal defence

People whose thoughts are mostly first-order are known as wantons: Their personal desires and aspirations are their only goals, and their principles consist of remaking the world to suit those goals People who vote for right-wing parties entirely because they want to pay less tax are wantons. So are people who vote for left-wing parties just because they want their organizations to get more grants.

Second-order thought looks beyond personal needs into rational calculations of larger principles and goals: If I give up this desire right now, it says, we all could be better off. It is higher, more principled intelligence. It constantly battles with our first-order desires, tending to require an even higher order of thought to reconcile those collisions. in Mr. Stanovich's system, the people who engage in this kind of thinking are known as strong evaluators.
Hypocrisy is a product of strong evaluation.
Doug_Saunders  decision_making  politics  hypocrisy  thinking  political_expediency  instant_gratification  delayed_gratification  wisdom  books  first-order  second-order  tradeoffs  self-preservation  mate-finding  nest-building  self-aggrandizement 
september 2012 by jerryking
Due diligence work assures an informed decision
May/Jun 2001 | Business Owner .Vol.25. Iss. 3; pg. 13 | Anonymous.

There is a great deal of time and energy expended in buying a business both before and after the closingv The period from your initial meeting to actual closing usually covers 90 to 180 days and the post-closing transition
period can extend over 6 months to one year. Be aware of the time required; you and your executives must set aside that time to meet your commitments in negotiating and closing a deal. There is basic information you will need to properly analyze and value the to-be-acquired company. including: 1. the information needed to help you determine your preliminary interest before proceeding with the negotiations; 2. the work to do on a financial justification for purchasing the company; and 3. the pre-closing documentation when you are getting ready to finalize the price, payment terms, transition and payment schedules, etc.
decision_making  due_diligence  owners 
september 2012 by jerryking
The Right Way to Ask for a Raise
January 1994 | Working Woman | Stephen M. Pollan and Mark Levine.
In today's cost-conscious environment, chances are you won’t get as big raise as you'd like. But with the right approach, you may be able to boost the one you're given, win other kinds of financial rewards or at least set the stage for a larger increase next time. Your strongest argument: that your salary has not kept pace with your accomplishments or that you are under paid relative to your peers. To better the odds of success, approach your boss only after a positive evaluation or some third-party recognition of your achievements. And don’t hesitate to use flattery.
managing_up  negotiations  compensation  salaries  performance_reviews  decision_making  decision_trees  self-worth 
august 2012 by jerryking
Getting a Better Severance Deal
November 1994 | Working Woman | BY STEPHEN M. POLLAN AND MARK LEVINE.

Severance packages are more negotiable than you may think. Treat them as preliminary offers, not done deals, and use whatever leverage you have. Do not sign a release—or even a statement that you've been terminated—at the initial meeting, when you receive the news. Insist on postponing all decisions to a subsequent meeting with both your direct supervisor and someone from personnel. Say you need the time to digest the news or even that you feel too emotional to continue. Then use this grace period to de1ermine what you really need in tenns of money and other benefits. Draft a memo outlining your dream severance package, listing a reason for each request. And if you suspect that you're being discriminated against—maybe everyone being dismissed is over 40 or female--contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (800-669-4000) or a labor lawyer. When you finally go into your second meeting, try to set aside your hurt and anger. Treat this like any other business negotiation. Be firm but flexible in your requests. and know where to draw your bottom line. Keep in mind that both you and your supervisor want to wrap the matter up as quickly as possible.
litigation  negotiations  decision_making  decision_trees  exits  managing_up  severance 
august 2012 by jerryking
Turning Down an Assignment
May 1994 | Working Woman | Stephen M. Pollack and Mark Levine.

Turning down an unpromising assignment calls for great tact, lest your refusal mark you as lazy. disloyal or uncooperative. To avoid such career-damaging labels. never refuse outright or belittle the project's importance. Instead, ask for time to review the proposal, then wait until you're approached again. “Time is your ally: Your superior's Monday morning inspiration may be forgotten by Wednesday. 3 If not. offer a thoughtful. businesslike reason for refusing the assignment and a collateral suggestion for completing the project. If your boss agrees, reinforce your position in the company by restating your expertise and expressing your willingness to take on future projects. If your boss rejects your proposal. try to spread the potential liability around by requesting that it become a team project. It that's not possible. you have little choice but to accept the assignment despite your qualms. shielding yourself with a memo outlining the obstacles in case the project fails.
Managing_Your_Career  managing_up  decision_making  decision_trees 
august 2012 by jerryking
How to Ace a Tough Interview
July 1994 | Working Woman | Stephen M. Pollan and Mark Levine. How to prepare for a stress interview.
decision_making  interview_preparation  interviews  Managing_Your_Career  howto  decision_trees 
august 2012 by jerryking
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