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The Decision Book: 50 Models for Strategic Thinking Hardcover – January 30, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (January 30, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393079619
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393079616
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 4.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,741 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

New-year stimuli to anyone who manages anything - even just their desk. Independent A handy primer for anyone keen to tackle problems in a different way. Director --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Mikael Krogerus is a freelance journalist for several German publications, including Der Freitag.

Roman Tschäppeler founded Guzo Communications, a management consulting firm.

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Customer Reviews

The book also contains strategies for conflict resolution.
Dr. Joseph S. Maresca
While the exercise of reading the book is stimulating, the problem is that the descriptions of the models are too brief, to the point of being superficial.
Irfan A. Alvi
It is a great tool and concepts are explained in very simple straightforward terms.
C. Ang

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

63 of 69 people found the following review helpful By Caufrier Frederic on January 27, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This small sized book (173 pages) covers a set of models that could fall under decision making tools (if you use a broad spectrum for that definition that is).

The models get placed under 4 basic questions:
1) How to improve yourself
2) How to understand yourself
3) How to understand others better
4) How to improve others

Some models are well known and broadly used, some are lesser known, some disappoint and some are nice surprises.

This book is a very fast read and really stripped down to the basics. The models are explained in single page format, followed up with an illustration. So as long as you don't expect detailed explanations on the models, you will love this one.

Interesting!

Contents

Instruction for use

How to improve yourself
- The Eisenhower matrix: How to work more efficiently
- The SWOT analysis: How to find the right solution
- The BCG box: How to evaluate costs and benefits
- The project portfolio matrix: How to maintain an overview
- The John Whitmore model: Am I pursuing the right goal?
- The rubber band model: How to deal with a dilemma
- The feedback model: Dealing with other's people's compliments and criticism
- The family tree model: The contacts you should maintain
- The morphological box and SCAMPER: Why you have to be structured to be creative
- The Esquire gift model: How much to spend on gifts
- The consequences model: Why it is important to make decisions promptly
- The conflict resolution model: How to resolve a conflict elegantly
- The crossroads model: So what next?

How to understand yourself
- The flow model: What makes you happy?
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By W on February 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Stumbled on this little book at the MIT Coop. I've been an analyst and strategic thinker for 25+ years, but have never seen a survey like this that covers so much territory so succinctly. It's a great overview to lots of the common conceptual frameworks used by decision analysts. It's not going to tell you enough to employ most of these techniques, but it does have enough info to point the user towards the right kind of tools for various kinds of problems. Just flipping through it as you contemplate a challenging problem should get neurons firing. My only criticism is that a lot of the examples are drawn from personal decisions, as opposed to corporate or pol-mil examples. Many of these models are applicable to those areas as well (or in fact were invented in those spheres).
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23 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Robert G. Barker on September 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
To be fair, my two-star rating may be overly harsh based on your different expectations of the book.

In working with CEOs and management teams, a well-developed graphic model often spurs creative thoughts that lead to new insights and solutions. Graphic frameworks also lead to clearer interaction and more engagement. The subtitle "50 Models for Strategic Thinking" sounded directly applicable to my management consulting. What I hoped to find were good examples and expositions of proven frameworks, along with new frameworks not yet encountered.

What I found instead were models mostly concerned with personal growth, and much of the writing was superficial. The section on Festinger's cognitive dissonance theory, for example, exhibited a shallow understanding of its key points. Writing on the well-understood and useful SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis failed to identify influences as internal versus external, and helpful versus harmful. The graphic in the Wikipedia definition of SWOT is better, suggesting that the authors spent very little time researching their work.

Finally, to their credit, the authors encourage the reader to develop his/her own models. Sadly, though, the advice they offer is so imprecise and elementary as to be useless.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Adriano Leal on March 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book is very concise and presents all the topics and concepts in an executive fashion.
Even though it has a good coverage, it is not recommended for those who are not familiar with Strategy Concepts as SWOT, BCG, and others. Very good for a quick review though.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on February 26, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I felt that this book had a lot of filler in the form of mostly useless decision analysis models. While it is true that some of the models are useful, many of them are simply inapplicable to most situations. I felt like this book should have been called "Wikipedia compilation of pop theories."
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ricardo Heria Covarrubias on August 5, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I expected more depth and professional approach to the subject. Though interesting models included, further explanation and applications would have been better.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Samantha on December 27, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A lot of information of many decision models. None of which are explained in any depth to be useful. Perhaps you might look through it for some inspiration and then search for further information on that model. Not something you would read cover to cover. Disappointing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A.K. Harris on July 10, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
The Decision Book by Mikael Krogerus and Roman Tschappeler presents a concise and useful set of models for a variety of circumstances. Clear explanations accompany elegant diagrams in describing the overall models. The models are placed into four categories: Improve Oneself, Know Oneself, Know Others, and Improve Others. All of the models, regardless of what category they belong to, claim to help us make decisions in uncertain situations.

The authors' purpose in this book is to aid decision-making and reflection, in both individual and collaborative contexts. The authors' state that a model must have the following attributes:

(1) simplifies
(2) is pragmatic
(3) summarizes
(4) is visual
(5) organizes
(6) is a method

These models help clarify and structure uncertain situations. The authors reinforce this point at the end of the work, when they state that (a) pictures are easy for the audience to follow, and (b) models rely heavily on pictures to convey a lot of information. This leads naturally to the conclusion that models are a particularly effective way of communicating methods of action.

If this book seeks to help us make better decisions, I think it partially fulfills that goal. There is, however, no advice on how to deploy the models; the book is simply a reference book for various methods and not a book that shows the reader how to truly integrate these models into their thinking. That kind of knowledge may only arise from a trial and error application of the models to real life situations.

Another shortfall I can easily elucidate is the weakness of the models from the categories about understanding and improving others relative to the models about self-improvement or self-knowledge.
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