Archive | decision support

How to Make Better Decisions

I always ask aspiring business people: How do you beat Bobby Fischer, the renowned chess champion of the 1970’s? The Answer: Play him at anything but chess. This excerpt is from the second chapter of Seymour Schulich’s book, Get Smarter: Life and Business Lessons. Schulich is a self-made billionaire and one of Canada’s greatest philanthropists, having…

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Swarm Intelligence

What do the Southwest Airlines boarding process and the video game Halo have in common? They both rely on swarm intelligence to improve their experience. Swarm intelligence describes the behavior of a population of simple agents whose aggregate behavior exhibits intelligence unknown to the individual agents. Groups exhibiting swarm intelligence have no central leader but…

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The Art and Science of Timing Decisions

Remember Malcolm Gladwell’s book called Blink? Gladwell argued that we should trust our snap judgments, using examples from science, advertising, medicine and music. These examples showed that spontaneous decisions were as good as, and usually better than, carefully considered ones. In Wait: The Art and Science of Delay, Frank Partnoy takes the exact opposite point of…

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Decision Quicksand

Why are unimportant decisions so hard for people to make? The conventional wisdom is that people don’t make decisions due to the fear of being wrong. However, in “Decision Quicksand: When Trivial Choices Suck Us In,” research suggests that excessive information and extraneous choices trick our brains into thinking that a decision is more complicated…

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Speedlinking, May 2009

One part writer’s block and two parts schedule overload means I don’t have time to write an original post.  Speedlinking to the rescue: Over at ‘I Help You Blog’, Philip suggests 101 Great Posting Ideas That Will Make Your Blog Sizzle.  My personal favorite is #101:  Create a post with a 101 ideas. In a relatively…

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The Return of Decision Support

According to D.J. Power‘s “A Brief History of Decision Support Systems“, the first use of the term Decision Support System (DSS) was in a 1971 Sloan Management Review article. Gorry and Scott-Morton argued that existing management information systems focused on structured decisions and recommended that systems for semi-structured and unstructured decisions should be called decision…

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