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Sunday, 13 February 2011

Review: The Decision Book by Mikael Krogerus and Roman Tschäppeler

The Decision Book

Fifty Models for Strategic Thinking

ISBN 1846683955
ISBN 13 9781846683954
Profile Books Ltd January 2011
Price £9.99
Hardback, 176 pp.

When I first got a copy of The Decision Book on Friday afternoon, I had intended to read just a few specific sections. I had no real intention of doing a full review and no obligation to do so. So I absolutely surprised myself when I realised I would be able to read the entire book cover to cover in a single sitting! This is not really the type of book that you are supposed to read through, it is more designed to be used and applied when needed, carrying out exercises and activities, but I found the models and theories in it so interesting that I just could not resist. So, on account of it surprising me in this way, I thought it only right that I do review it.

The Decision Book is a mini-workbook containing approximately fifty decision-making models that we can apply to our everyday lives to help guide our thought processes and actions. It looks at both classic and modern theories and strategies taken from some of the world’s greatest theorists, leaders, businessmen, organisations and free-thinkers. What is better though, is that these incredible theories and ideas are explained in concise form, most not more than a page long, meaning that you get all this incredible knowledge in less than 200 pages. And as if that was not good enough, each model is nicely presented in a diagram, one that you can copy and use yourself, applying these decision-making models to your own situations. It is so simple and yet so beneficial.

The book is divided into four sections: how to improve yourself; how to understand yourself better; how to understand others better and; how to improve others. Some of the awesome questions that this book will help you to answer include: how to work more efficiently; dealing with other people’s compliments and criticisms; how to resolve a conflict elegantly; how to recognise whether you should change your job; what kind of discussion type are you? (this one is an eye-opener); why everybody has an iPod; and my personal favourite as it conjures up recent memories of university: why the printer always breaks down just before a deadline. There is even a model on how much to spend on gifts; I kid you not.

The models are not fixed either, in fact you are encouraged to use them and then to develop them further according to your needs to get the maximum benefit for your situation. The book provides advice on how the models can be adapted to different situations, and something I found very interesting is the way in which these models serve our personal lives and relationships just as much as our professional ones (if not more so, in some cases).

Last but not least, The Decision Book is a slim, stylish, compact little black book, hardback of course, that fits nicely in your handbag/ briefcase and looks pretty sleek. It would go perfectly with your organiser, address book and Blackberry. Now, I know you’re thinking ‘who cares what the book looks like?’ or ‘why is she describing this book as sleek, it’s a book for God’s sake?’ but when you consider that this is the kind of book that you’ll probably want to carry around with you on a daily basis, to college, work, or just to have whilst on public transport, I think size and style begins to matter. You can pop this lightweight gem into your bag and have it at your disposal to prepare for meetings, interviews, or just generally for the day ahead. It is lush!

So, there you have it. I have surprised myself by how impressed I am by this book. It is interesting that some of the theorists mentioned are ones that I studied during my degree, yet I would never have thought to apply their theories in such a practical way. I am impressed, and you will be too. Parents, people in relationships, teachers, entrepreneurs, workers, unemployed, students, young and old people, this book can help you control better your thoughts, your actions and your future.

To end, I will leave you with one of the many quotations that this book has, one taken from the Talmud that I think summarises why this book is so useful:

Pay attention to your thoughts, because they become words.
Pay attention to your words, because they become actions.
Pay attention to your actions, because they become habits.
Pay attention to your habits, because they become your character.
Pay attention to your character, because it is your fate.

1 comment:

  1. I have just read this book and I think it is very useful if you can transform theory into practice that is very difficult to maintain in real life.


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