Category Archives: Decision Point

True Energy Leadership

by admin | April 6, 2015

We need to change the way we conduct commerce in order to ensure the long-term viability of our society; industry is the only entity with the power to change how we conduct commerce; therefore, it is up to industry to do so. I think I may have found that company that is stepping up and really leading the way toward a sustainable energy future. Not just paying lip service, and making a few investments in renewables to put into the annual report, but truly taking an active role in leading society towards sustainability.

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Throwing Down The Gauntlet

by admin | March 9, 2015

Talk to almost anyone who does what we do for a living here at Decision Strategies, and you will often hear consternation at why the practice of decision analysis (DA, also called decision science) hasn’t caught on across a broader spectrum of industries. Sure, a few industries like oil & gas and pharmaceutical R&D have adopted it as best practice, but the principles apply across any endeavor in which decisions must be made in complex situations (and these days, that’s almost any strategic endeavor). So why isn’t everyone using it?

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Some Thoughts on Serendipity

by admin | December 1, 2014

One of life’s great paradoxes is that we are ultimately responsible for our decisions and our actions, and yet with the staggering amount of randomness in the – good luck, bad luck, and just plain upredictable occurences – we cannot control the results of our decisions and actions. This is not to say that our choices don’t make a difference; they do. They change the probabilities associated with various outcomes. We may not be able to ensure certainty, but we can and often do influence outcomes.

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A Different Kind of Trifecta

by admin | September 3, 2014

In the July 5th, 2014 issue of The Economist, Buttonwood had an interesting column entitled, “Three’s a Crowd.” It introduced me to the word (if not the concept) of a trilemma.

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A Sense of Purpose​

by admin | August 21, 2014

Why would anyone want to be a coal miner? It’s certainly respectable work, but it’s also dangerous and comes with a high probability of medical problems. I gained a little bit of unexpected insight into this question at the end of a book I recently finished.

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Reframing the Problem

by admin | June 30, 2014

A few years back, I designed a simple spreadsheet tool for an oil & gas client to use in specific circumstances. This circumstance arises when the company is drilling a well and gets something stuck way down in the hole (often several kilometers down).

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A Common(s) Problem

by admin | May 27, 2014

What are the most important problems society will face over the next couple of decades, and how might decision science have to change in order to help people to make good decisions in the face of these problems? I came up with a list of six items, the very first of which was, “How to Make Good Decisions in ‘Tragedy of the Commons’ situations”.

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Supercali–fragil-istic

by admin | April 28, 2014

Our striving for ever-increasing efficiencies through just-in-time supply chain delivery, concentrating manufacturing in the cheapest labor markets, and “optimizing” systems like power grids to maximize efficiency during peak usage times has enormously increased the fragility of many industries and our overall economy. I’m about three-quarters of the way through Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s latest book, Antifragile. This is the third book I’ve read of his, and if you can get around the author’s grumpiness and the book’s somewhat rambling style, Taleb conveys a number of perspectives which border on profound.

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Everything We Know Really IS Wrong (at least in Economics)

by admin | January 12, 2014

It’s been almost three years since I first gave a presentation entitled, “Everything We Know Is Wrong,” and it’s been a bit more than two years since I posted a piece about it in this blog. I now stand vindicated; an article authored by Eric Beinhocker and Nick Hanauer and posted by McKinsey & Co. entitled, “Redefining Capitalism” asserts that nearly all of the assumptions underlying classic economic analysis are wrong (http://www.mckinsey.com/Insights/Corporate_Social_Responsibility/Redefining_capitalism?cid=mckq50-eml-alt-mip-mck-oth-1410). This article is adapted from “Capitalism Redefined,” which appeared in Democracy: A Journal of Ideas, Issue 31, Winter 2014, www.democracyjournal.org.

Okay, maybe “vindicated” is too strong a word. But it’s reassuring to read that others are coming to similar conclusions as I have.

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The Smith System as an Allegory for Successful Living

by admin | December 10, 2013

The Smith System as an Allegory for Successful Living Occasionally the team at Decision Strategies comes across an essay or editorial that we think might be of interest to you. We will use this as an opportunity to feature guest bloggers on the Decision Point Blog. The purpose of inviting a guest blogger is to … Continue reading The Smith System as an Allegory for Successful Living

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