Why Smart People Make Bad Decisions


No one gets up in the morning intending to make bad decisions or ruin the world, yet decisions we make often lead to consequences we didn’t want. It’s not because we don’t have enough data. It’s not because we don’t have enough intelligence. It’s not because we don’t care. And it’s not an accident.

So why do we do it?

Simple: because we’re human. And, because we’re human, we have a fascinating array of decision-making biases, which operate without announcing themselves to our conscious minds. Biases that make us pay more attention to isolated but vivid events than to statistics, that make us willing to go along with groups rather than believe the clear evidence of our eyes, that lock us into YOU-started-it traps, that make us believe that something is working right up to the moment it falls down around us. Not unlike, for instance, the financial crisis.

What can we do about that?

We will discuss social psychology, innumeracy, our individual sense of exceptionalism (“I’m different”), and so on. We’ll discuss experiments and simulations. We’ll discuss antidotes and how to make better decisions. And we’ll end on a positive, compassionate note.

Mark Chussil

Affiliation Advanced Competitive Strategies, Inc.
Website http://www.whatifyourstrategy.com/

Mark Chussil is Founder and CEO of Advanced Competitive Strategies, Inc. A thirty-year veteran of competitive strategy and a pioneer in business war gaming, he has designed numerous innovative techniques including ACS’s award-winning ValueWar™ strategy simulator.

Mark is also a Founder of Crisis Simulations International, LLC. Mark’s design for CSI’s DXMA™ simulation technology won a patent (U.S. Patent No. 7,536,287).

Mark has helped executives in dozens of Fortune Global 500 companies on six continents. He speaks about simulation and strategy decisions at conferences around the world.

Mark has published a book on strategy simulation and analysis, chapters for five books, and dozens of articles. He has been featured and quoted in CBS News, Computerworld, Fast Company, Harvard Management Update, Oregon Business, The Wall Street Journal, and more. He also wrote a non-business book, Nice Start: Questions Only You Can Answer to Create the Life Only You Can Live.

Mark earned his MBA from Harvard and his BA from Yale.