You’re About to Make a Terrible Mistake!
How Biases Distort Decision-Making—and What You Can Do to Fight Them
Discover nine common business decision-making traps — and learn practical tools for avoiding them — in this “masterful,” research-based guide from a professor of strategic thinking. (Daniel Kahneman, author of Thinking, Fast and Slow)
We all make decisions all the time. It’s so natural that we hardly stop to think about it. Yet even the smartest and most experienced among us make frequent and predictable errors. So, what makes a good decision? Should we trust our intuitions, and if so, when? How can we avoid being tripped up by cognitive biases when we are not even aware of them?
In You’re About to Make a Terrible Mistake!, strategy professor and management consultant Olivier Sibony draws on dozens of fascinating and engaging case studies to show how cognitive biases routinely lead all of us — including even the most renowned business titans — into nine common decision-making traps. But instead of rehashing the same old “debiasing” techniques that fail managers time and again, Sibony explains that the best way to avoid the pitfalls of cognitive bias is to craft an effective decision-making architecture in your organization — a system of techniques and processes that leverage collective intelligence to help leaders make the best decisions possible — and provides 40 concrete methods for doing so.
Distinctive in the clarity and practicality of its message, You’re About to Make a Terrible Mistake! distills the latest developments in behavioral economics and cognitive psychology into actionable tools for making smart, effective decisions in business and beyond.
“A masterful introduction to the state of the art in managerial decision making. Surprisingly, it is also a pleasure to read.”
—Daniel Kahneman, recipient of the Nobel Prize in economics and author of Thinking, Fast and Slow
“Finally! Actionable advice for leaders based on decades of decision science. Succinct, accurate, and even-handed. I loved it!”
—Angela Duckworth, bestselling author of Grit
“A book filled with some fascinating, and frightening, stories of decision-making failures… it provides reassurance and advice to all of us with choices to make. It is also an easy read with actionable advice.”
—Financial Times July 2020 business book selection
“Brilliant, fun, and wise — a tremendous guide to sensible decision-making, in business and in daily life. Filled with vivid stories and big lessons, this book might well be the best investment you make this year.”
—Cass R. Sunstein, author of How Change Happens
“You’re probably familiar with many of the biases that can ruin your decisions. The question is what to do about them when you’re building your business strategy. Olivier Sibony has some compelling answers. Drawing on his extensive experience as a consultant and his impressive knowledge of behavioral science, he shows how you can make your team smarter than the people in it.”
—Adam Grant, bestselling author of Originals and Give and Take
“An elegant synthesis of the best scientific work on human judgment that will be useful whether your aspirations in life are modest—become a smarter consumer of news—or whether they are grandiose—run a large company or country.”
—Philip E. Tetlock, bestselling co-author of Superforecasting
“Olivier Sibony has written the best, funniest, most useful guide to cognitive bias in business. If you make decisions, you need to read this book.”
—Safi Bahcall, bestselling author of Loonshots
“Olivier Sibony has that rare and magical ability to take complex concepts and package them in fast-paced, easy-to-understand narrative. Filled with actionable advice on how to make better choices, this book should be required reading for anyone looking to improve their decision process.”
—Annie Duke, bestselling author of Thinking in Bets
“Reading Olivier Sibony’s book is like spending time with a smart, witty friend who cares deeply about helping you make better choices. He has a gift for making you smile, making you think, then driving you to take action. A superb read for anyone who’s interested in improving their decision-making.”
—Caroline Webb, bestselling author of How to Have a Good Day