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How Do You Make Decisions?

Researchers at Cornell University data suggests that the average person makes 32,000 decisions in a day. These decisions include subconscious actions, the ones your body makes without you knowing and the conscious ones, you know those ones as the ones that keep you up at night.  How many decisions does a meeting architect make from concept to execution of a business event? My best guess is MORE!

According to research how the brain decides between two conscious options according to research is a blend of intuition and rational thinking. Gathering as much history and experience as possible tends to reduce the risk involved in making a commitment to one option or the other. That recognized, we have built-in biases and blind spots that are often unconscious and so even our history has to be analysed for flawed data. So how do we work around ourselves to make the best decisions? 

Liv Boerre, a professional poker player talks about the risk of relying solely on luck and how the best poker players in the world use a process of analysis to succeed. Gut instinct alone doesn’t win the pot!

Cognitive scientist, Tom Griffiths, explains some tips on how to make better decisions:

  • Use the 37% Principle –  by the time you have reviewed 37% of the options, you have done enough analysis to make a good decision.
  • Do a cost/benefits analysis of staying with the tried and true or seizing the opportunity to explore and exploit new ideas.

Dan Ariely, author of the book, ‘Predictably Irrational‘ is my favourite social scientist. While it has been almost a decade since I read his book, the takeaway that I use on a daily basis is how important it is to have options when we make decisions. The scary part of course is that his research proves that we do not really know our preferences that well, which leaves us vulnerable to being influenced.  His video is worth the 17 minutes to learn how vulnerable we are to ourselves.    

Sorting through the reams of data to find the best venue for an organization is a honed process. Mitigating risk and reviewing options is what we do – everyday.  It is our mission to help meeting architects increase the probability of getting it right. So they can carry on with the other 31,999 decisions in their day!  

Timely yours, 

PS.  April 4, 2019 – Happy GLOBAL MEETINGS INDUSTRY DAY everyone!!! Desmond, Jeanna and I will be in Montreal at the MPI The Event celebrating this amazing industry and the fabulous people it contains!  

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