Philip Meissner, Olivier Sibony, Torsten Wulf

Debiasing techniques […] aim to limit the effects of overconfidence by forcing the decision maker to consider downside risks that may have been overlooked or underestimated. And they can mitigate the dangers of confirmation bias by encouraging executives to consider different points of view.

Examples of such techniques include either the systematic use of a devil’s advocate or a “premortem” (individuals project themselves into a future … [ Read more ]

Are You Ready to Decide?

Before doing so, executives should ask themselves two sets of questions.

Making Great Decisions

Stanford’s Chip Heath and McKinsey’s Olivier Sibony discuss new research, fresh frameworks, and practical tools for decision makers.

Early-Stage Research on Decision-Making Styles

People make decisions—often in very different ways. Learn more about five distinct styles and the preferences that shape them.

Taking the Bias Out of Meetings

Managing bias effectively can help lessen the impact it has on your company’s strategy.

Re-Anchor Your Next Budget Meeting

Anchoring is the psychological phenomenon that makes a number stick in your mind and influence you — even though you think you’re disregarding it. An anchor is such a powerful influence that only another anchor can overcome it. Re-anchoring combats the anchor of history and convention with another anchor, grounded in a different set of facts.

How CFOs can Keep Strategic Decisions on Track

The finance chief is often well placed to guard against common decision-making biases.

The Case for Behavioral Strategy

Left unchecked, subconscious biases will undermine strategic decision making. Here’s how to counter them and improve corporate performance.

Distortions and Deceptions in Strategic Decisions

Companies are vulnerable to misconceptions, biases, and plain old lies. But not hopelessly vulnerable.

Dan P. Lovallo and Olivier Sibony

Loss aversion wouldn’t have such a large effect on decisions made in times of uncertainty if people viewed each gamble not in isolation but as one of many taken during their own lives or the life of an organization. But executives, like all of us, tend to evaluate every option as a change from a reference point – usually the status quo – not as … [ Read more ]

Dan P. Lovallo and Olivier Sibony

When companies evaluate strategic decisions, three conditions frequently create agency problems. One is the misalignment of time horizons between individuals and corporations. …Another problem that can generate harmful deceptions is the differing risk profiles of individuals and organizations. …The final agency issue arises from the likelihood that a subordinate knows much more than a superior does about a given issue. Higher-ranking executives must therefore make … [ Read more ]

New Strategies for Consumer Goods

The industry has already extracted much of the benefit to be had from improving productivity and concentrating on core brands. Meanwhile, its dynamics are changing. What comes next?