You are previewing The Right Decision Every Time: How to Reach Perfect Clarity on Tough Decisions.
O'Reilly logo
The Right Decision Every Time: How to Reach Perfect Clarity on Tough Decisions

Book Description

Drawing on her breakthrough research with 115 CEOs, Luda Kopeikina offers practical, proven techniques for structuring decisions, achieving clarity about the real issues involved, and using that clarity to improve the quality of every decision you make. Kopeikina begins by defining clarity in decision-making, identifying five root causes for decision difficulty, and introducing the “Clarity State”: that singular moment of focus where things fall into place, and solutions become obvious. Next, she introduces a set of powerful techniques for overcoming decision difficulties, stripping away decision complexity, and achieving the Clarity State. Kopeikina concludes with a detailed case study tracing how real executives use these techniques to make crucial strategic decisions.

Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
    1. Dedication
  2. Praise for The Right Decision Every Time
  3. Acknowledgments
  4. About the Author
  5. Introduction
  6. 1. The Key to Mastering Decisions
    1. Clarity in Decision Making—Definitions
    2. Characteristics of a Clear Decision
      1. Positive Charge
      2. Commitment to a Vision
      3. Minimal Post-Decision Doubts
    3. The Value of Decision Clarity
      1. Clarity Enables the Leader to Project Commitment to a Chosen Path and Eliminates Confusion
      2. Clarity Saves Time and Eliminates Unnecessary Actions
      3. Clarity Releases Energy into Acting
      4. Clarity Allows Flexibility in Tactics and Implementation
    4. Right Decision and Decision Quality
  7. 2. The Clarity State—Mental Focus Redefined
    1. Definition
    2. Death Habits to Achieving Clarity
      1. Death Habit #1: Multitask
      2. Death Habit #2: Be Competitive
      3. Death Habit #3: Work All the Time and Do More
    3. Breaking Death Habits
  8. 3. Five Hurdles to Clarity
    1. Lack of a Clear Objective
    2. Lack of Clear Constraints
    3. Difficulty in Dealing with Emotions
    4. Lack of a Clear Perspective (Frame)
    5. Difficulty in Selecting Among Options
  9. 4. How Do You Make Decisions? Overview of a CEO-Tested Process
    1. Part I: Reach and Maintain the Clarity State
    2. Part II: Define the Decision—Create a Decision Map
      1. Contemplate the Decision—Overcoming Decision Difficulties
    3. Part III—Deal with Emotions
    4. Part IV: Achieve Clarity of Perspective
    5. Part V: Align with Outcomes—Visualizing the Future
    6. Decision-Making in Large Versus Small Companies
  10. 5. You Too Can Reach Clarity at Will!—How to Attain the Clarity State
    1. Measuring the Attainment of the Clarity State
    2. Learning Your Clarity State—A Five-Step Process
      1. Prepare—Methods for Step 1
      2. Physical Relaxation—Methods for Step 2
        1. Progressive Relaxation
        2. Full Breathing
      3. Calm Your Mind—Methods for Step 3
        1. Relaxation Response[7]
        2. Countdown[8]
      4. Clear Your Mind—Methods for Step 4
        1. Acknowledging Your Thoughts[9]
        2. Visualization[10],[11]
      5. Charge Up—Methods for Step 5
        1. Activating a Symbol
        2. Utilize Your Volitional Factors[10]
      6. Recommended Technique for Reaching the Clarity State
      7. Programming a Clarity State Trigger
    3. Using Clarity State for Decision-Making
      1. Behavior Guidance Points
  11. 6. No Aim, No Game—How to Achieve Clarity of Objective
    1. Why Bother Defining Decisions?
    2. Effective Decision Definitions—A Short Course
    3. Decision Map
    4. Clarity of Objective
      1. Trap #1: Formulating the Objective as an Option Selection
      2. Trap #2: Incorporating Too Many Parameters into the Objective
      3. Trap #3: Making the Objective Too Narrow
      4. Trap #4: Allowing a Personal Objective to Take a Backseat
      5. Trap #5: Formulating the Objective in a Sloppy Way with Unclear Metrics
      6. Process for Clarifying a Decision Objective
    5. Worksheet 6-1: Clarifying a Decision Objective
  12. 7. Escaping Handcuffs—How to Achieve Clarity of Constraints
    1. What Is a Constraint?
    2. Traps to Avoid
      1. Trap #1: Excluding Concerns as Factors Relevant to a Decision
      2. Trap #2: Formulating Constraints in Negative Terms
      3. Trap #3: Missing Important Parameters as Part of a Decision
        1. Commonly Overlooked Area of Concern: Corporate Culture
        2. Commonly Overlooked Area of Concern: Availability of People Critical to the Implementation of the Solution
        3. Commonly Overlooked Area of Concern: Realism of the Proposed Solution
      4. Trap #4: Ignoring Emotions and Attachments in Defining Decisions
      5. Trap #5: Incorporating Perceived Constraints into the Decision
    3. Process for Clarifying Decision Constraints
    4. Worksheet 7-1: Clarifying Decision Constraints
    5. Example: Achieving Clarity of Decision Definition—Putting Together a Decision Map
    6. Expanding Solution Options
      1. Practice #1: Use One Good Option to Generate Others
      2. Practice #2: Look Through the Eyes of Experts
      3. Practice #3: Shuttle from Specific to General
      4. Practice #4: Vary the Strength of the Options
      5. Practice #5: Change the Scope of the Option
  13. 8. Balancing Mind and Body—How to Learn from Your Emotional Cues
    1. Recent Scientific Findings About the Link Between Emotions and Reason
    2. Learn from Your Emotions
      1. Acknowledge Your Emotions
        1. Observation #1: Acknowledging emotions that are related to the situation involved in the decision can be instructive to the decision maker and can quickly indicate the right decision.
      2. Shift Negative into Positive
        1. Observation #2: Emotions usually surface unrecognized concerns that should be taken into account in the decision.
      3. Learn to Use Physical Sensations as Instruments of Dealing with Emotions
        1. Observation #3: Finding a physical sensation associated with the emotion can serve as an instrument of dealing with the emotion.
        2. Observation #3a: Effective visualizations that lessen a physical sensation associated with the decision can help strike a balance between emotion and reason to enable easier decision-making.
      4. Find a Balance Point by Using Visualizations
        1. Practice #1: Visualizing Distance Between Yourself and the Decision
        2. Practice #2: Physically Separating from the Decision
        3. Practice #3: Giving the Problem to Someone Else
        4. Practice #4: Simply Letting Go
    3. The Process of Dealing with Emotions in Decision-Making
    4. Worksheet 8-1: Dealing with Emotions
  14. 9. Pick a Fight!—How to Get the Most Out of Clashing Opinions
    1. Constructive Use of Disagreements
    2. Disagreements and Emotions
    3. Process of Dealing with Disagreements in Decision-Making
  15. 10. Everything Is Relative!—Why the Right Frame Is Critical
    1. Are You Framed?
    2. Value of a Clear Perspective
      1. Value 1: Clear Perspective Points to the Right Solution
      2. Value 2: Clear Perspective Identifies Additional Options
      3. Value 3: Clear Perspective Identifies a New Problem Area or Block
    3. Achieving Clarity of Perspective
    4. Frame Artist's Process of Shifting Perspectives
  16. 11. Becoming a Frame Artist—How to Master Clarity of Perspective
    1. Technique 1: Constraints Relaxation
      1. Process of Constraints Relaxation
    2. Technique 2: Assumption Stretching
      1. Process for Clarifying Assumptions
    3. Technique 3: Identifying the Crux of the Issue
      1. Definition
      2. Process for Crux Identification
    4. Technique 4: Expanding Your View
      1. Process of “Stepping Back”
    5. Technique 5: Shifting a Loss Problem Statement into Gain
    6. Technique 6: Looking at Your Decision from the Perspective of a Realized Objective in the Future
    7. Frame Artist's Toolbox
  17. 12. Bull's-eye!—How to Align with the Right Outcome
    1. Educating Intuition—A Brief Overview
      1. Method #1: Evaluating Pros and Cons
      2. Method #2: Eliminating Alternatives
      3. Method #3: Evaluating Options Relative to a Reference Point
      4. Method #4: Building Probability Trees
      5. Method #5: Making Trade-offs
    2. Arriving at a Clear Choice
      1. Technique #1: Solution Sensitivity Analysis
      2. Technique #2: Finding the Best Solution Alignment
    3. Process for Clarifying Your Choice
  18. 13. Voilà!—How to Put It All Together
  19. A. Clarity State Decision-Making Technique—A Summary
    1. Part I: Technique of Reaching the Clarity State
    2. Part II: Define the Decision
    3. Part III: Process of Dealing with Emotions
    4. Part IV: Process of Achieving Clarity of Perspective
    5. Part V: Process of Aligning with Outcomes
  20. B. Additional Tips on Reducing Decision Complexity
    1. Clarity of Communication
    2. Technique: Creating a Communication Decision Layer
    3. Reducing Decision Complexity by Creating Decision Layers
    4. Technique: Identifying and Formulating a New Decision Layer
  21. References
    1. Chapter 1
    2. Chapter 2
    3. Chapter 3
    4. Chapter 4
    5. Chapter 5
    6. Chapter 6
    7. Chapter 7
    8. Chapter 8
    9. Chapter 9
    10. Chapter 10
    11. Chapter 11
    12. Chapter 12
    13. Chapter 13
    14. Appendix B