This is the title of a book by Gary Klein. I read it several years ago but recently came back to it because Malcolm Gladwell refers to it in Blink. Now a quick note on Malcolm Gladwell's latest book: The previous book really captured a popular phenomenon (and one sought after by marketers: if only we could control the tipping point - kinda reminds me of: "If we could only control those blogs...") quite well. Like the sophmore album from a promising band (e.g. The Strokes), the second book was highly criticized for not living up to the hype of the first book.
I have been reading Malcolm's book and find it fascinating. It does feel a bit like a blog in that it follows what interests the author versus some rigid path. "Thin-slicing" is what I do all day - we all do.
Anyhow back to Sources of Power. The book is solidly academic. Klein studies how people make decisions. As I continue to look at influence, decision-making is the end of the rainbow.
Here's the part I find interesting: of the experts and "skilled problem solvers" he analyzed (e.g. military squad leaders, fire jumpers), one would expect careful analysis before critical decisions. Not the way it works.
"Skilled problem solvers and decision makers are themselves scientists and experimenters. They are actively using stories and analogues, personal as well as borrowed from others, to learn about the important causal factors in their lives"
We try things. And very often we try the first right solution that might just work. No matrices. No slow pros and cons exhaustive deliberation. We rely on experience and we "trade accuracy for speed and therefore allow errors." But the great thing is they are often right and their decision-making is not weak at all. The contrary.
I am not a firejumper. I make decisions that have insignificant to major financial implications. When I produced TV commercials, the wrong decisions could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars (I know - of client's money, but I took it very seriously). As Creative Director running a Creative Studio and Interactive team, some of my best work is done quickly. I don't mind focus groups. I actually love hearing how the people I am trying to communicate with react to something. I mind when folks take them literally word for word.
Anyhow, thoughts on decision-making?