The one-sentence summary
You can make better choices by widening your options, testing your assumptions, attaining distance before deciding, and preparing to be wrong.
WHAT THE BOOK SAYS
· You can make better choices in life and work by following four simple principles (as ever, they encapsulate these in a mnemonic, WRAP)
· Widen your options
· Reality-Test your assumptions
· Attain distance before deciding
· Prepare to be wrong
· Stage 1 means avoiding a narrow time frame, multitracking (considering more than one option simultaneously), and finding someone who has already solved your problem.
· Stage 2 involves considering doing the opposite, zooming in and zooming out (big picture and detail), and ooching (a Southern US word for running small experiments to test theories).
· Stage 3 includes overcoming short-term emotion and honouring your core priorities.
· Stage 4 is bookending the future (setting a range of outcomes from very bad to very good) and setting up tripwires.
WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT IT
· It’s another good synthesis of all things behavioural, well laid out with clear chapter summaries that you can grab.
· If you are a well-adjusted individual, you can navigate yourself through poor choices:
~ You encounter a choice – don’t let narrow framing exclude decent options.
~ You analyze your options – don’t let confirmation bias make you gather only self-serving information.
~ You make a choice – don’t let short-term emotion tempt you into the wrong one.
~ You live with it – don’t let overconfidence about the future warp your view.
· There is a decent blend of corporate and personal examples, and the narrative rolls along well, as ever with these authors.
WHAT YOU HAVE TO WATCH
· Pretty much all of this has been discussed before elsewhere:
~ Framing has been covered extensively by Daniel Kahneman and others.
~ Ooching is the same as ‘First bullets, then cannonballs’ from Jim Collins.
~ Zooming in and out was also posited by Collins in Great by Choice.
~ The premortem (envisioning a disastrous outcome) was originated by Gary Klein.
~ …and tripwires were first suggested by me in Tick Achieve in 2008 (!)