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The Art of Decision Making.pdf

The Art of Decision Making.pdf

上传者: nelson1094
640次下载 0人收藏 暂无简介 简介 2012-01-09 举报

简介:useful books to increase your abilities, skills, and knowledges

TheArtofDecisionMakingMirrorsofImagination,MasksofFateHelgaDrummondJOHNWILEY&SONS,LTDChichesterNewYorkWeinheimBrisbaneSingaporeTorontoTheArtofDecisionMakingTheArtofDecisionMakingMirrorsofImagination,MasksofFateHelgaDrummondJOHNWILEY&SONS,LTDChichesterNewYorkWeinheimBrisbaneSingaporeTorontoCopyright2001byJohnWiley&SonsLtd,BaffinsLane,Chichester,WestSussexPO191UD,EnglandNational01243779777International(+44)1243779777e-mail(forordersandcustomerserviceenquiries):cs-books@wiley.co.ukVisitourHomePageonhttp://www.wiley.co.ukorhttp://www.wiley.comAllRightsReserved.Nopartofthispublicationmaybereproduced,storedinaretrievalsystem,ortransmitted,inanyformorbyanymeans,electronic,mechanical,photocopying,recording,scanningorotherwise,exceptunderthetermsoftheCopyright,DesignsandPatentsAct1988orunderthetermsofalicenceissuedbytheCopyrightLicensingAgency,90TottenhamCourtRoad,London,W1P9HE,UK,withoutthepermissioninwritingofthepublisherorthecopyrightowner.OtherWileyEditorialOfficesJohnWiley&Sons,Inc.,605ThirdAvenue,NewYork,NY10158-0012,USAWiley-VCHVerlagGmbH,Pappelallee3,D-69469Weinheim,GermanyJohnWiley&SonsAustraliaLtd,33ParkRoad,Milton,Queensland4064,AustraliaJohnWiley&Sons(Asia)PteLtd,2ClementiLoop#02-01,JinXingDistripark,Singapore129809JohnWiley&Sons(Canada)Ltd,22WorcesterRoad,Rexdale,OntarioM9W1L1,CanadaBritishLibraryCataloguinginPublicationDataAcataloguerecordforthisbookisavailablefromtheBritishLibraryISBN0-471-49718-5Typesetin11/17ptITCGaramondbyFootnoteGraphics,Warminster,WiltshirePrintedandboundinGreatBritainbyBiddlesLtd,GuildfordandKing’sLynn.Thisbookisprintedonacid-freepaperresponsiblymanufacturedfromsustainableforestry,inwhichatleasttwotreesareplantedforeachoneusedforpaperproduction.ForSheenaSciencereassures,artdisturbs(Proverb)ContentsAcknowledgementsxiiiIntroduction1Thequestions5Ambiguitylurks6Theimaginedworld6Theruttedroad7Shiftingtides7Theripeningofevents8‘Allishuman’9Areyoucompetentorlucky?91TheClockThatStruckThirteen:TheChallengeofSenseMaking11‘Twodeadfish’13Hangedinthemiddleoftheplay17Theclockthatstrucktwelve?21Theclockthatreallydidstrikethirteen24Theperilsofexperience27Turningadramaintoacrisis28‘Itcan’tbe’302TheMorningAfter35Thelanternandthemirror36viiiCONTENTS‘Ohwhathaveyoudone?’38RollsmeetsRoyce42Divorceyourhusbandwithouthimnoticing43Sentencefirst,verdictlater46TheghostsofChristmas47Themagnoliayears49Thelanternflickers503TheDarkSideoftheMoon54Animaginedworld56Receivedimages58Thedarksideofthemoon60Loveislike...?63Hiddenpossibilities65Fromhell67Strangledbyadishofeels68Allthatjazz714GhostsandShadows:ReflectionsonInformationandDecisionMaking77Greenlightspellsdanger79Doyouunderstand?80PaintingGod83Creatingconfusion86Ghostsandshadows875TricksofMind92Déjàvu?94Whybadpublicityisbetterthannone97CONTENTSixWeighanchor97‘Itcouldbeyou’99‘Wow!Grabit!’102‘Toosoondejectandtoosoonelate’104Endingthepain1056TheEssentialLie:ExploringtheMyth-makingProcess106Buildingonmud109Dressedtokill111Wavingthemagicwand113Writingthehymnsheet114Singingfromthehymnsheet117Theessentiallie118Thesuspicionofwitchcraft120‘Thencamethecat’123‘Anintensitybeyondbelief’1247HighTidesandGreenGrass:TheIllusionofControl127Illusion128‘Feellucky,punk?’130Lightningstrikes132Illusionpilesuponillusion133Nothingsucceedslikesuccess?136Finetuningtheodds136Waterseeping141‘Likeachild’ssparkler’141‘Afirethesizeofacardboardbox’142xCONTENTS‘Makepumps4-personsreported’143Hightidesandgreengrass–inthedesert1458TalesoftheUnexpected:ExploringtheParadoxofConsequence148‘Kickback’:theparadoxofconsistency149Problems,problems152Thehunterbecomesthehunted155Winner’scurse156Thetaleoftheboilerman157TheIcarusparadox159Arunawaybull160Thetragedyofthecommons162‘Itwasacrucialdecision,itwasthewrongone’163Brilliantanddaft165Chancehasgotnothingtodowithit1709RidingaTiger:EscalationinDecisionMaking172Mountingatiger174Hiddendepths177Promises,promises181Allishuman183Keepingupappearances185Hellhathnofury187Moneysunkandlost188Themarchoffolly193Tomorrowandtomorrow19510‘AnAceofSuccess’:KnockingattheDoorofFate197Theeventsunfold198CONTENTSxi‘Anaceofsuccess’208Escalation209Shiftingsands210Fiascobecomesinevitable212Trustingtoluck213Thefortunesofwar21411ThePointofNoReturn216Thesceneisadilapidatedhairdresser’sshop217‘I’veonlymyselftokeep’220‘Don’tclaptooloudly’221‘Crisis,whatcrisis?’225‘Driftingidlytowardseternity’227Redlightspellsdanger229Polishingthechains232Clutchingthepole235Skeletonsandcobwebs23712TheArtofDecisionMaking240Risingtothelevelofevents240Adogisforlife245Liarsservingtruth248Takeawalkonthewildside249There’sarumourgoinground250Opposites250Lookhardandlooktwice253Quacksbawling254Buyinga‘cutandshut’256Fortunefavoursthebrave257xiiCONTENTSTheillusionofalternatives259Ifatfirstyoudon’tsucceed...260Escapingtoreality261Catchafallingknife262Donoharm263Squeezinghands265Blownoff-course266Creatingluck268Showsomeemotion?268Puzzledaswellasbeaten270Ilsnepasserontpas272Lovingtodeath272Whyghostsreturntohaunt274Theelementofsurprise277Sweetaretheusesofadversity278Thegoldenchance279Timeandtide280Epilogue:ADancingStar281Transcendentoptimism284References287Index298AcknowledgementsThisbookwaspromptedbyaninvitationtoteachriskanddecisionmakingontheManufacturingLeaders’courseoftheDepartmentofEngineeringattheUniversityofCambridge.IamgratefultoPeterWebsterandRobinDanielsfortheirenthusiasmandencourage-ment.ElizabethandStuartRayner(whomayhavebeenmagnoliaforthirtyyears)helpedmorethantheyrealisedbylisteningtomycomparisonsbetweentheirtaskofconvertingabarnandmineofwritingabook.Chapters,likeoakfloors,needsandingdown,andmaterial,likestaircases,sometimesrefusestofit.Iatleasthadtheconsolationofnothavingtoworryaboutwhethertheplumberortheelectricianwouldturnupaspromised–theultimateinun-certainty.Mycommissioningeditor(‘youwantitwhen?’)DianeTaylorwentbeyondthecallofdutyinreadingmaterialandcontributingsuggestions.Butforherwillingnesstotakeachancetherewouldhavebeennobook.MycolleaguesinLiverpoolhavebeengood-humouredandsupportive.LauraMcAllisterreadsubstantialpartsofthetextandsavedmefrommanyerrors.JanetBealeproofreadthemanuscriptandhelpedwithpartoftheresearch.IamgratefultoSheenaWaitkinsfordirectingmetotheAberdeenTyphoidReportandformuch,muchelsebesides.Introduction‘Well,here’sanotherfinemess’(LaurelandHardy)ThepoetRobertBurnswarnsusthatourbest-laidschemesfrequentlygoawry.ItishilariouswhenLaurelandHardyfindthemselvesembroiledin‘anotherfinemess’,ratherlesssowhenithappensinreallife.Moreover,forallourtechnicalsophistication,weonlyhavetoopenanewspapertofindyetanother‘finemess’–theMillenniumDomethatpromisedsomuchandendedinignominy,theBSEsaga,theInternettradingcompaniesthatfelltoearth.Somede-cisionfailuresaresoseriousthattheword‘mess’isinadequate.Thepatientsmurderedbytheirtrusteddoctor,HaroldShipman,diedbecausepotentiallyominousevidencewasmisinterpreted.ThevictimsoftheConcordedisasterdiedbecauseapotentiallycatastrophicriskwentunrecognised.Inourpersonalliveswealsosometimesmakedecisionsthat‘gangafta-gley’.Wemayfindourselvestrappedinacareerorarelationshipandwonderhowwegotthere.Wemaydosomethingexactly‘bythebook’andfailmiserablyyetsucceedbrilliantlywhenweactuponintuitionandimpulse.Thecentralquestionthisbooktriestoanswerishowandwhydecisionsgoawry.Therearemanybooksthattreatdecisionmakingasascience.Thisisemphaticallynotoneofthem.Therearenoprobabilitystatistics,2INTRODUCTIONnomathematicalmodels,nospreadsheets,andnotechniquesofriskanalysis.Althoughsuchtoolshavetheirplace,theycanlullusintoafalsesenseofsecurityastheyimplythatriskissomethingthatcanbemanagedandcontrolled.Ifso,whydidthecollapseofmarketsintheFarEastin1998takeanalystsbysurprise?1Morerecently,theriskof‘footandmouth’diseaseseemedsoremotethatbyearly2001,whenthediseasereappeared,manyfarmersintheUKhadstoppedinsuringagainstit.Mythemeisuncertainty.Considertheboardgame‘Monopoly’.Wecanimproveourchancesofwinningbytakingastrategicapproachtodecisionmaking.WecancomputetheprobabilityoflandingonMayfair,ordrawingthecardmarked‘Gotojail’.Yettheultimatearbiterisarollofthedice.Almostalldecisionsareagamble.Nomatterhowcarefullyweresearchandplan,thereisalwaystheriskthatthingswillturnoutdifferentlyfromwhatweexpect.Laptopcomputerswereexpectedtooustthelargerdesktopmachines–apredictionthathasyettobefulfilled.Althoughtheforecastupsurgeinsalesofmobiletele-phoneshasmaterialised,theunexpectedtwististhatexpansionhaslargelyfavouredthe‘payasyougo’sector.Decisionmakersmustnotonlyconfrontuncertaintyaboutthefuture,ambivalencealsosurroundsthepastandpresent.Duringthesummerof2000,analystsdebatedthesignificanceoftheup-surgeinhouseprices.Diditsignalthestartofanotherboomsimilartothatofthelate1980s,orwerewewitnessinganisolatedeventthatwouldsoongivewaytoamarketcorrection?2InOctober2000,anexpresspassengertrainwasderailedatHatfieldkillingfourpeople.Theimmediatecauseoftheaccidentwasabrokenrail.Amoreimportantquestioniswhatthatbrokenrailsignified.INTRODUCTION3DidtheaccidentreflectRailtrack’sallegedpolicyof‘sweatingassets’beingpushedtoofar?Wasthesubsequentdecisiontoembarkuponafull-scaleprogrammeoftrackcheckingthatdelayedrailservicesformonthsanover-reaction,ordiditpreventotheraccidents?ActIIoftheplayRosencrantzandGuildensternAreDeadendswiththewords,‘...anythingcouldhappenyet’.Wecannotmakeadecisionwithoutformulatingsomeideaofwhatthefuturemayhold.Yetforallourtechniquesofforecastingandscenarioplan-ning,thefutureremainshidden.AT&T,theUStelecomscarrier,foresawtheconvergenceoftelecomsandcomputingandhowitwouldtransformourlivesandtheirbusiness.However,theywerenottoknowthattheInternetwouldbethevehicleofconverg-ence,andthattheirdecisiontomergewithNCR,theUSbusinessmachinemanufacturer,inanticipationofdevelopmentswouldbeawasteoftime,moneyandopportunity.3Evenwhenweguessthefuturecorrectly,thedividinglinebe-tweensuccessandfailurecanbeslender.Inthelate1980stheReichmannbrothersbegantheCanaryWharfproject.Theplanwastoconstruct12millionsquarefeetofofficespaceinLondon’sthenderelictDocklands.ThebrothersbelievedthatLondonwouldsoonrequiremodernofficebuildingswithspaciousfloorsforservicecompanies.Yetthismassiveventurewaslaunchedwithalmostnotransportinfrastructureinthearea.Consequently,CityfirmsinsearchofofficespacedismissedCanaryWharfasafringedevelop-ment.In1992,asthepropertymarketcollapsed,andofficerentsplummeted,constructionhalted.CanaryWharfwasplacedinadministrationwithonly4.5millionoftheintended12millionsquarefeetofofficespacecomplete.4INTRODUCTIONIn1995,PaulReichmannsucceededinbuyingCanaryWharfbackfromthebanks.TheFinancialTimeswasnotimpressed,predictingthattheventuremightremainanexpensive‘whiteelephant’astheprospectivereleaseof7.5millionsquarefeetofofficespacewouldcreateanincreaseinsupplylikelytolimittherecoveryinofficerents.4ThequestionnowiswillthestoryofCanaryWharfendhappily?In1995rentswere80.73asquaremetre.Fiveyearslater,inJuly2000,withtheDocklandsLightRailwayinserviceandtheJubileeLineextensionfinallycomplete,rentshavemorethantrebledto269.10pasquaremetre,promptingPaulReichmanntopredictthatthesitewouldbefullyoccupiedwithineighteenmonths.TheupsurgeinCanaryWharf’sfortuneshasbeentherecentexpansionandmergingofmultinationalfirmssuchasCitigroup,CreditSuisseandFirstBoston.Inthelate1980sReichmannpre-dictedthatitwouldtaketentofifteenyearsforCanaryWharftorealiseitspotential.5Hemayhavebeenrightbutitsurelycountsasa‘close-runthing’.Luckplaysapartindecisionmaking.WhenthevolunteerworkersofthePeakRailorganisationdecidedtohireengine4472FlyingScotsmanforninedaysinthesummerof2000theyknewtheyweretakingariskasthecostsofstagingtheeventmightfaroutweightherevenues.Thedecisionmusthaveseemedill-starredwhenthelorrycarryingtheenginetoDerbyshireburstatyreonthemainroadnearRowsley.Yettheeventgenerated100000(theequivalentofayear’sturnover),afigureboostedbythefreepublicitygeneratedasmotoristspassedthestrandedtransporter.6Sometimesweareluckierthanwedeservetobe.Textmess-aginggeneratesmoreprofitformobiletelephoneoperatorsthanTHEQUESTIONS5calls.Yetthefacilitywasaddedtomobiletelephoneslargelyasanafterthought.Whatwedoknowisthatifwegetitwrong,wehavetolivewiththeconsequences.UnlikethefictionalBeggar’sOperanooneisgoingtoinsistthat‘thepiecemustendhappily’.Metaphoricallyspeaking,ifwefinishupinthecondemnedcellthereisnore-prieve,unlessweareincrediblylucky.TheQuestionsMyfascinationwithdecisionmakingdatesfromwhenIwasaboutsevenyearsold.Ireadabookthatsaidhistorywasallaboutblun-ders,lostopportunities,andfailedgambles.Soisdecisionmaking.Thespecificquestionsthisbooktriestoaddressareasfollows:1.Whyaredangersignsoftenmissed?(Chapters1,4,5,7)2.Howdodecisionmakersbecomecommittedtoacourseofactionwithoutapparentlyhavingmadeadecision?(Chapters2,3,and10)3.Whyisitthatdecisionsthatwereabsolutelyrightcansuddenlyseemcompletelywrong?(Chapters2,6,9)4.Aredecisionmakerscompletelyatthemercyofchance?(Chapters3,6,8,10)5.Decisionfiascosfrequentlytakeusbysurprise,yetinretro-spectwereinevitable.Ifsomethingisunexpecteditcannotbeinevitable.Howdoweexplainthatparadox?(Chapters8,10)6.Alldecisionshaveunintendedconsequences.Yetsometimesdecisionsproducethecompleteoppositeofwhatwasintended.Howdoesthishappen?(Chapters2,8,10,11)6INTRODUCTION7.Whendecisionmakersareconfrontedbyfailuretheyfrequentlymakemattersworseby‘throwinggoodmoneyafterbad’–why?(Chapters7,9,10)8.Whydocrisesoccur?(6,11)9.Whyareproblemssometimesignoreduntiltheybecomecrises?(Chapters6,7,9and11)10.Whatcanwedoto‘getlucky’?(Chapter12,13)AmbiguityLurksDecisionscienceassumesthatweliveinaworldwheretwoandtwoequalfourandwhereproblemsarriveondecisionmakers’desksoneatatime,neatlylabelledandmarked‘forattention’.Incontrast,animportantthemeofthisbookisthatambiguityalwayslurks.Decisionsarerarelyclear.Feedbacktendstobeslowtoarrive,andisinvariablyequivocal.Moreover,thepeopleonwhomwerelyforourinformationmayexaggerate,dissimulateandeventelllies.TheImaginedWorldTheproblemofambiguityrunsdeeperthanthat,however.Decisionsciencetreatsrealityassomethingthatexists‘outthere’waitingtobediscovered.Incontrast,anotherimportantthemeofthisbookisthatrealityexistsaswedefineit.Ourfreedomtodefinerealityimpliescontradictorythings.Ontheonehand,wecanescapefromrealitybyretreatingintofan-tasy.Conversely,wecanchangerealitybyviewingtheworldfromSHIFTINGTIDES7adifferentviewpoint.Whileweriskmissingdangersignswhenweretreatintoanunrealworld,ourfreedomtodefineourrealitiesalsomeansthatwearenotentirelyatthemercyofchance.Ourproblemsareafigmentofourimagination.Thisisnottosuggestthatwearedeluded,onlythattherearemanydifferentwaysofseeingandindeed,manydifferentrealities.TheRuttedRoadDecisionscienceteachesthatthecorrectapproachindecisionmakingistochoosewhatevercourseofactionpromisesmaximumbenefit.Yetabasicdilemmaofdecisionmakingisthatwecanneverbesureoftheconsequencesofouractions.Amoreimportantissueishowweresolvethatdilemmainprac-tice.Experiencesuggeststhattherearenogoodorbaddecisionsassuch.Morespecifically,decisionssucceedorfailaccordingtowhethertheycommandsupport.Accordingtoourtextbooksthissuggestionisnonsense.Thetextbookapproachtodecisionmakingrequiresustomakerationalchoices.Inthisview,rationalityactsasaguide.Isuggestthatitissafertoseerationalityasanachievement,forgedfromallthearguments,counter-arguments,claimsandcounter-claimsoftheday.Mostdecisionscanbemadetolookgoodonpaper.Theonlyvalidtestistheruttedroadofreality.ShiftingTidesTheword‘decision’means‘tocut’,implyingaclearandvolitionalchoicebetweenalternatives.Isuggestthatscientificperspectives8INTRODUCTIONplacetoomuchemphasisuponthenotionofdecisionattheexpenseofconsideringotheraspectsoftheprocess.First,untilwecanmakesenseofasituationthereisnodecisiontomake.Second,wearefacedwiththeproblemofimplementingourdecisions.Ourmanagementtextbookssuggestthatimple-mentationissimplyamatterofmonitoringprogressandtakingcorrectiveactionwherenecessary.Thismechanisticprescriptioncanleaveusfeelinginadequateasdecisionmakersbecauseitisinsensitivetotheshiftingtidesoforganisation,theobliquetwistsandturnswherebybest-laidplanscangoawry.Decisionsciencefurtherassumesthatthingshappenbecausesomebody,somewheremakesadecision.Thisperspectiveignoreshowdestinymaybeshapedbyindecisionandinaction.TheRipeningofEventsDecisionsciencerestsupontakingtheriskoutofuncertaintybypre-emptiveplanningandforecasting.Theartofdecisionmakingstressesreflection,imaginationandinsight.Whiledecisionsciencesuggestswecaneliminatesurprise,theartofdecisionmakinginvolvesreflectingupontheripeningofevents,assessingwhatthefuturemaybring,wheretheweak-nesseslieandpreparingtobesurprised.Yeteventsar

The Art of Decision Making.pdf

The Art of Decision Making.pdf

上传者: nelson1094
640次下载 0人收藏 暂无简介 简介 2012-01-09 举报

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TheArtofDecisionMakingMirrorsofImagination,MasksofFateHelgaDrummondJOHNWILEY&SONS,LTDChichesterNewYorkWeinheimBrisbaneSingaporeTorontoTheArtofDecisionMakingTheArtofDecisionMakingMirrorsofImagination,MasksofFateHelgaDrummondJOHNWILEY&SONS,LTDChichesterNewYorkWeinheimBrisbaneSingaporeTorontoCopyright2001byJohnWiley&SonsLtd,BaffinsLane,Chichester,WestSussexPO191UD,EnglandNational01243779777International(+44)1243779777e-mail(forordersandcustomerserviceenquiries):cs-books@wiley.co.ukVisitourHomePageonhttp://www.wiley.co.ukorhttp://www.wiley.comAllRightsReserved.Nopartofthispublicationmaybereproduced,storedinaretrievalsystem,ortransmitted,inanyformorbyanymeans,electronic,mechanical,photocopying,recording,scanningorotherwise,exceptunderthetermsoftheCopyright,DesignsandPatentsAct1988orunderthetermsofalicenceissuedbytheCopyrightLicensingAgency,90TottenhamCourtRoad,London,W1P9HE,UK,withoutthepermissioninwritingofthepublisherorthecopyrightowner.OtherWileyEditorialOfficesJohnWiley&Sons,Inc.,605ThirdAvenue,NewYork,NY10158-0012,USAWiley-VCHVerlagGmbH,Pappelallee3,D-69469Weinheim,GermanyJohnWiley&SonsAustraliaLtd,33ParkRoad,Milton,Queensland4064,AustraliaJohnWiley&Sons(Asia)PteLtd,2ClementiLoop#02-01,JinXingDistripark,Singapore129809JohnWiley&Sons(Canada)Ltd,22WorcesterRoad,Rexdale,OntarioM9W1L1,CanadaBritishLibraryCataloguinginPublicationDataAcataloguerecordforthisbookisavailablefromtheBritishLibraryISBN0-471-49718-5Typesetin11/17ptITCGaramondbyFootnoteGraphics,Warminster,WiltshirePrintedandboundinGreatBritainbyBiddlesLtd,GuildfordandKing’sLynn.Thisbookisprintedonacid-freepaperresponsiblymanufacturedfromsustainableforestry,inwhichatleasttwotreesareplantedforeachoneusedforpaperproduction.ForSheenaSciencereassures,artdisturbs(Proverb)ContentsAcknowledgementsxiiiIntroduction1Thequestions5Ambiguitylurks6Theimaginedworld6Theruttedroad7Shiftingtides7Theripeningofevents8‘Allishuman’9Areyoucompetentorlucky?91TheClockThatStruckThirteen:TheChallengeofSenseMaking11‘Twodeadfish’13Hangedinthemiddleoftheplay17Theclockthatstrucktwelve?21Theclockthatreallydidstrikethirteen24Theperilsofexperience27Turningadramaintoacrisis28‘Itcan’tbe’302TheMorningAfter35Thelanternandthemirror36viiiCONTENTS‘Ohwhathaveyoudone?’38RollsmeetsRoyce42Divorceyourhusbandwithouthimnoticing43Sentencefirst,verdictlater46TheghostsofChristmas47Themagnoliayears49Thelanternflickers503TheDarkSideoftheMoon54Animaginedworld56Receivedimages58Thedarksideofthemoon60Loveislike...?63Hiddenpossibilities65Fromhell67Strangledbyadishofeels68Allthatjazz714GhostsandShadows:ReflectionsonInformationandDecisionMaking77Greenlightspellsdanger79Doyouunderstand?80PaintingGod83Creatingconfusion86Ghostsandshadows875TricksofMind92Déjàvu?94Whybadpublicityisbetterthannone97CONTENTSixWeighanchor97‘Itcouldbeyou’99‘Wow!Grabit!’102‘Toosoondejectandtoosoonelate’104Endingthepain1056TheEssentialLie:ExploringtheMyth-makingProcess106Buildingonmud109Dressedtokill111Wavingthemagicwand113Writingthehymnsheet114Singingfromthehymnsheet117Theessentiallie118Thesuspicionofwitchcraft120‘Thencamethecat’123‘Anintensitybeyondbelief’1247HighTidesandGreenGrass:TheIllusionofControl127Illusion128‘Feellucky,punk?’130Lightningstrikes132Illusionpilesuponillusion133Nothingsucceedslikesuccess?136Finetuningtheodds136Waterseeping141‘Likeachild’ssparkler’141‘Afirethesizeofacardboardbox’142xCONTENTS‘Makepumps4-personsreported’143Hightidesandgreengrass–inthedesert1458TalesoftheUnexpected:ExploringtheParadoxofConsequence148‘Kickback’:theparadoxofconsistency149Problems,problems152Thehunterbecomesthehunted155Winner’scurse156Thetaleoftheboilerman157TheIcarusparadox159Arunawaybull160Thetragedyofthecommons162‘Itwasacrucialdecision,itwasthewrongone’163Brilliantanddaft165Chancehasgotnothingtodowithit1709RidingaTiger:EscalationinDecisionMaking172Mountingatiger174Hiddendepths177Promises,promises181Allishuman183Keepingupappearances185Hellhathnofury187Moneysunkandlost188Themarchoffolly193Tomorrowandtomorrow19510‘AnAceofSuccess’:KnockingattheDoorofFate197Theeventsunfold198CONTENTSxi‘Anaceofsuccess’208Escalation209Shiftingsands210Fiascobecomesinevitable212Trustingtoluck213Thefortunesofwar21411ThePointofNoReturn216Thesceneisadilapidatedhairdresser’sshop217‘I’veonlymyselftokeep’220‘Don’tclaptooloudly’221‘Crisis,whatcrisis?’225‘Driftingidlytowardseternity’227Redlightspellsdanger229Polishingthechains232Clutchingthepole235Skeletonsandcobwebs23712TheArtofDecisionMaking240Risingtothelevelofevents240Adogisforlife245Liarsservingtruth248Takeawalkonthewildside249There’sarumourgoinground250Opposites250Lookhardandlooktwice253Quacksbawling254Buyinga‘cutandshut’256Fortunefavoursthebrave257xiiCONTENTSTheillusionofalternatives259Ifatfirstyoudon’tsucceed...260Escapingtoreality261Catchafallingknife262Donoharm263Squeezinghands265Blownoff-course266Creatingluck268Showsomeemotion?268Puzzledaswellasbeaten270Ilsnepasserontpas272Lovingtodeath272Whyghostsreturntohaunt274Theelementofsurprise277Sweetaretheusesofadversity278Thegoldenchance279Timeandtide280Epilogue:ADancingStar281Transcendentoptimism284References287Index298AcknowledgementsThisbookwaspromptedbyaninvitationtoteachriskanddecisionmakingontheManufacturingLeaders’courseoftheDepartmentofEngineeringattheUniversityofCambridge.IamgratefultoPeterWebsterandRobinDanielsfortheirenthusiasmandencourage-ment.ElizabethandStuartRayner(whomayhavebeenmagnoliaforthirtyyears)helpedmorethantheyrealisedbylisteningtomycomparisonsbetweentheirtaskofconvertingabarnandmineofwritingabook.Chapters,likeoakfloors,needsandingdown,andmaterial,likestaircases,sometimesrefusestofit.Iatleasthadtheconsolationofnothavingtoworryaboutwhethertheplumberortheelectricianwouldturnupaspromised–theultimateinun-certainty.Mycommissioningeditor(‘youwantitwhen?’)DianeTaylorwentbeyondthecallofdutyinreadingmaterialandcontributingsuggestions.Butforherwillingnesstotakeachancetherewouldhavebeennobook.MycolleaguesinLiverpoolhavebeengood-humouredandsupportive.LauraMcAllisterreadsubstantialpartsofthetextandsavedmefrommanyerrors.JanetBealeproofreadthemanuscriptandhelpedwithpartoftheresearch.IamgratefultoSheenaWaitkinsfordirectingmetotheAberdeenTyphoidReportandformuch,muchelsebesides.Introduction‘Well,here’sanotherfinemess’(LaurelandHardy)ThepoetRobertBurnswarnsusthatourbest-laidschemesfrequentlygoawry.ItishilariouswhenLaurelandHardyfindthemselvesembroiledin‘anotherfinemess’,ratherlesssowhenithappensinreallife.Moreover,forallourtechnicalsophistication,weonlyhavetoopenanewspapertofindyetanother‘finemess’–theMillenniumDomethatpromisedsomuchandendedinignominy,theBSEsaga,theInternettradingcompaniesthatfelltoearth.Somede-cisionfailuresaresoseriousthattheword‘mess’isinadequate.Thepatientsmurderedbytheirtrusteddoctor,HaroldShipman,diedbecausepotentiallyominousevidencewasmisinterpreted.ThevictimsoftheConcordedisasterdiedbecauseapotentiallycatastrophicriskwentunrecognised.Inourpersonalliveswealsosometimesmakedecisionsthat‘gangafta-gley’.Wemayfindourselvestrappedinacareerorarelationshipandwonderhowwegotthere.Wemaydosomethingexactly‘bythebook’andfailmiserablyyetsucceedbrilliantlywhenweactuponintuitionandimpulse.Thecentralquestionthisbooktriestoanswerishowandwhydecisionsgoawry.Therearemanybooksthattreatdecisionmakingasascience.Thisisemphaticallynotoneofthem.Therearenoprobabilitystatistics,2INTRODUCTIONnomathematicalmodels,nospreadsheets,andnotechniquesofriskanalysis.Althoughsuchtoolshavetheirplace,theycanlullusintoafalsesenseofsecurityastheyimplythatriskissomethingthatcanbemanagedandcontrolled.Ifso,whydidthecollapseofmarketsintheFarEastin1998takeanalystsbysurprise?1Morerecently,theriskof‘footandmouth’diseaseseemedsoremotethatbyearly2001,whenthediseasereappeared,manyfarmersintheUKhadstoppedinsuringagainstit.Mythemeisuncertainty.Considertheboardgame‘Monopoly’.Wecanimproveourchancesofwinningbytakingastrategicapproachtodecisionmaking.WecancomputetheprobabilityoflandingonMayfair,ordrawingthecardmarked‘Gotojail’.Yettheultimatearbiterisarollofthedice.Almostalldecisionsareagamble.Nomatterhowcarefullyweresearchandplan,thereisalwaystheriskthatthingswillturnoutdifferentlyfromwhatweexpect.Laptopcomputerswereexpectedtooustthelargerdesktopmachines–apredictionthathasyettobefulfilled.Althoughtheforecastupsurgeinsalesofmobiletele-phoneshasmaterialised,theunexpectedtwististhatexpansionhaslargelyfavouredthe‘payasyougo’sector.Decisionmakersmustnotonlyconfrontuncertaintyaboutthefuture,ambivalencealsosurroundsthepastandpresent.Duringthesummerof2000,analystsdebatedthesignificanceoftheup-surgeinhouseprices.Diditsignalthestartofanotherboomsimilartothatofthelate1980s,orwerewewitnessinganisolatedeventthatwouldsoongivewaytoamarketcorrection?2InOctober2000,anexpresspassengertrainwasderailedatHatfieldkillingfourpeople.Theimmediatecauseoftheaccidentwasabrokenrail.Amoreimportantquestioniswhatthatbrokenrailsignified.INTRODUCTION3DidtheaccidentreflectRailtrack’sallegedpolicyof‘sweatingassets’beingpushedtoofar?Wasthesubsequentdecisiontoembarkuponafull-scaleprogrammeoftrackcheckingthatdelayedrailservicesformonthsanover-reaction,ordiditpreventotheraccidents?ActIIoftheplayRosencrantzandGuildensternAreDeadendswiththewords,‘...anythingcouldhappenyet’.Wecannotmakeadecisionwithoutformulatingsomeideaofwhatthefuturemayhold.Yetforallourtechniquesofforecastingandscenarioplan-ning,thefutureremainshidden.AT&T,theUStelecomscarrier,foresawtheconvergenceoftelecomsandcomputingandhowitwouldtransformourlivesandtheirbusiness.However,theywerenottoknowthattheInternetwouldbethevehicleofconverg-ence,andthattheirdecisiontomergewithNCR,theUSbusinessmachinemanufacturer,inanticipationofdevelopmentswouldbeawasteoftime,moneyandopportunity.3Evenwhenweguessthefuturecorrectly,thedividinglinebe-tweensuccessandfailurecanbeslender.Inthelate1980stheReichmannbrothersbegantheCanaryWharfproject.Theplanwastoconstruct12millionsquarefeetofofficespaceinLondon’sthenderelictDocklands.ThebrothersbelievedthatLondonwouldsoonrequiremodernofficebuildingswithspaciousfloorsforservicecompanies.Yetthismassiveventurewaslaunchedwithalmostnotransportinfrastructureinthearea.Consequently,CityfirmsinsearchofofficespacedismissedCanaryWharfasafringedevelop-ment.In1992,asthepropertymarketcollapsed,andofficerentsplummeted,constructionhalted.CanaryWharfwasplacedinadministrationwithonly4.5millionoftheintended12millionsquarefeetofofficespacecomplete.4INTRODUCTIONIn1995,PaulReichmannsucceededinbuyingCanaryWharfbackfromthebanks.TheFinancialTimeswasnotimpressed,predictingthattheventuremightremainanexpensive‘whiteelephant’astheprospectivereleaseof7.5millionsquarefeetofofficespacewouldcreateanincreaseinsupplylikelytolimittherecoveryinofficerents.4ThequestionnowiswillthestoryofCanaryWharfendhappily?In1995rentswere80.73asquaremetre.Fiveyearslater,inJuly2000,withtheDocklandsLightRailwayinserviceandtheJubileeLineextensionfinallycomplete,rentshavemorethantrebledto269.10pasquaremetre,promptingPaulReichmanntopredictthatthesitewouldbefullyoccupiedwithineighteenmonths.TheupsurgeinCanaryWharf’sfortuneshasbeentherecentexpansionandmergingofmultinationalfirmssuchasCitigroup,CreditSuisseandFirstBoston.Inthelate1980sReichmannpre-dictedthatitwouldtaketentofifteenyearsforCanaryWharftorealiseitspotential.5Hemayhavebeenrightbutitsurelycountsasa‘close-runthing’.Luckplaysapartindecisionmaking.WhenthevolunteerworkersofthePeakRailorganisationdecidedtohireengine4472FlyingScotsmanforninedaysinthesummerof2000theyknewtheyweretakingariskasthecostsofstagingtheeventmightfaroutweightherevenues.Thedecisionmusthaveseemedill-starredwhenthelorrycarryingtheenginetoDerbyshireburstatyreonthemainroadnearRowsley.Yettheeventgenerated100000(theequivalentofayear’sturnover),afigureboostedbythefreepublicitygeneratedasmotoristspassedthestrandedtransporter.6Sometimesweareluckierthanwedeservetobe.Textmess-aginggeneratesmoreprofitformobiletelephoneoperatorsthanTHEQUESTIONS5calls.Yetthefacilitywasaddedtomobiletelephoneslargelyasanafterthought.Whatwedoknowisthatifwegetitwrong,wehavetolivewiththeconsequences.UnlikethefictionalBeggar’sOperanooneisgoingtoinsistthat‘thepiecemustendhappily’.Metaphoricallyspeaking,ifwefinishupinthecondemnedcellthereisnore-prieve,unlessweareincrediblylucky.TheQuestionsMyfascinationwithdecisionmakingdatesfromwhenIwasaboutsevenyearsold.Ireadabookthatsaidhistorywasallaboutblun-ders,lostopportunities,andfailedgambles.Soisdecisionmaking.Thespecificquestionsthisbooktriestoaddressareasfollows:1.Whyaredangersignsoftenmissed?(Chapters1,4,5,7)2.Howdodecisionmakersbecomecommittedtoacourseofactionwithoutapparentlyhavingmadeadecision?(Chapters2,3,and10)3.Whyisitthatdecisionsthatwereabsolutelyrightcansuddenlyseemcompletelywrong?(Chapters2,6,9)4.Aredecisionmakerscompletelyatthemercyofchance?(Chapters3,6,8,10)5.Decisionfiascosfrequentlytakeusbysurprise,yetinretro-spectwereinevitable.Ifsomethingisunexpecteditcannotbeinevitable.Howdoweexplainthatparadox?(Chapters8,10)6.Alldecisionshaveunintendedconsequences.Yetsometimesdecisionsproducethecompleteoppositeofwhatwasintended.Howdoesthishappen?(Chapters2,8,10,11)6INTRODUCTION7.Whendecisionmakersareconfrontedbyfailuretheyfrequentlymakemattersworseby‘throwinggoodmoneyafterbad’–why?(Chapters7,9,10)8.Whydocrisesoccur?(6,11)9.Whyareproblemssometimesignoreduntiltheybecomecrises?(Chapters6,7,9and11)10.Whatcanwedoto‘getlucky’?(Chapter12,13)AmbiguityLurksDecisionscienceassumesthatweliveinaworldwheretwoandtwoequalfourandwhereproblemsarriveondecisionmakers’desksoneatatime,neatlylabelledandmarked‘forattention’.Incontrast,animportantthemeofthisbookisthatambiguityalwayslurks.Decisionsarerarelyclear.Feedbacktendstobeslowtoarrive,andisinvariablyequivocal.Moreover,thepeopleonwhomwerelyforourinformationmayexaggerate,dissimulateandeventelllies.TheImaginedWorldTheproblemofambiguityrunsdeeperthanthat,however.Decisionsciencetreatsrealityassomethingthatexists‘outthere’waitingtobediscovered.Incontrast,anotherimportantthemeofthisbookisthatrealityexistsaswedefineit.Ourfreedomtodefinerealityimpliescontradictorythings.Ontheonehand,wecanescapefromrealitybyretreatingintofan-tasy.Conversely,wecanchangerealitybyviewingtheworldfromSHIFTINGTIDES7adifferentviewpoint.Whileweriskmissingdangersignswhenweretreatintoanunrealworld,ourfreedomtodefineourrealitiesalsomeansthatwearenotentirelyatthemercyofchance.Ourproblemsareafigmentofourimagination.Thisisnottosuggestthatwearedeluded,onlythattherearemanydifferentwaysofseeingandindeed,manydifferentrealities.TheRuttedRoadDecisionscienceteachesthatthecorrectapproachindecisionmakingistochoosewhatevercourseofactionpromisesmaximumbenefit.Yetabasicdilemmaofdecisionmakingisthatwecanneverbesureoftheconsequencesofouractions.Amoreimportantissueishowweresolvethatdilemmainprac-tice.Experiencesuggeststhattherearenogoodorbaddecisionsassuch.Morespecifically,decisionssucceedorfailaccordingtowhethertheycommandsupport.Accordingtoourtextbooksthissuggestionisnonsense.Thetextbookapproachtodecisionmakingrequiresustomakerationalchoices.Inthisview,rationalityactsasaguide.Isuggestthatitissafertoseerationalityasanachievement,forgedfromallthearguments,counter-arguments,claimsandcounter-claimsoftheday.Mostdecisionscanbemadetolookgoodonpaper.Theonlyvalidtestistheruttedroadofreality.ShiftingTidesTheword‘decision’means‘tocut’,implyingaclearandvolitionalchoicebetweenalternatives.Isuggestthatscientificperspectives8INTRODUCTIONplacetoomuchemphasisuponthenotionofdecisionattheexpenseofconsideringotheraspectsoftheprocess.First,untilwecanmakesenseofasituationthereisnodecisiontomake.Second,wearefacedwiththeproblemofimplementingourdecisions.Ourmanagementtextbookssuggestthatimple-mentationissimplyamatterofmonitoringprogressandtakingcorrectiveactionwherenecessary.Thismechanisticprescriptioncanleaveusfeelinginadequateasdecisionmakersbecauseitisinsensitivetotheshiftingtidesoforganisation,theobliquetwistsandturnswherebybest-laidplanscangoawry.Decisionsciencefurtherassumesthatthingshappenbecausesomebody,somewheremakesadecision.Thisperspectiveignoreshowdestinymaybeshapedbyindecisionandinaction.TheRipeningofEventsDecisionsciencerestsupontakingtheriskoutofuncertaintybypre-emptiveplanningandforecasting.Theartofdecisionmakingstressesreflection,imaginationandinsight.Whiledecisionsciencesuggestswecaneliminatesurprise,theartofdecisionmakinginvolvesreflectingupontheripeningofevents,assessingwhatthefuturemaybring,wheretheweak-nesseslieandpreparingtobesurprised.Yeteventsar
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