Malcolm Gladwell, author of Tipping Point, has gone to Best Seller list once more with his new book Blink. I don’t want to take anything away from Malcolm because he is a proven best selling author, but how does it happen that a book about decision-making rises to status of best seller when there are dozens of other books on subject that never seem to get much past list of required reading for students?
Maybe a part of reason for success of this book can be found in an October 2004 report from Teradata, a division of NCR Corporation. That report proclaims that, “Business decision-making is in crisis. The overwhelming majority of respondents, more than 70 percent, say that poor decision-making is a serious problem for business. The top casualties of poor decision-making are profits, company reputation, long-term growth, employee morale, productivity and revenue.”
A decision-making book that didn’t make Best Seller List is Why Decisions Fail, by Paul C. Nutt. In his book, Nutt explains magnitude of problem when he writes, “decisions fail half of time.”
If “decisions fail half of time,” negatively affecting profits, growth, morale, productivity and revenues, evidence would seem to indicate that interest in Decision- Making may be reaching Tipping Point where it will become hot new topic in business. Just think about competitive advantage an organization could gain if they could improve their success rate to even 75% while their competition was still at 50%.
There is also growing evidence that making decisions is becoming even more difficult. J. Edward Russo and Paul J. H. Schoemaker in their book Winning Decisions, point out that we are inundated with information, facing rapid change and rising uncertainty. We have few historical precedents, more frequent decisions, more important decisions, conflicting goals, more opportunities for miscommunication, fewer opportunities to correct mistakes and higher stakes. All this is contributing to even more difficult decision-making.