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The Science of Successful Organizational Change: How Leaders Set Strategy, Change Behavior, and Create an Agile Culture by Paul Gibbons

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5. Cognitive Biases and Failed Strategies

“Truth is confirmed by inspection and delay; falsehood by haste and uncertainty.”

—Tacitus

The VUCA context produces conflicting demands for decision-makers. Volatility suggests a need for speedy response, but uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity suggest greater deliberation.

High-stakes decision making is never easy, but the toughest decisions often surround major change. Outcomes are uncertain, significant capital is at risk, the emotional and career stakes are high, and relationships may be strained. We would like to be at our best, but humans are fallible and get less rational under pressure. For an individual, a decision error could mean a bad financial, career, or other type of decision, where ...

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