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risk & decision making

Risk and Decision Making is the first speech I wrote, it looks at what a decision actually is, how decision making happens and asks how well we make them, or whether we could make them better.

While the subject of decision making is unimaginably vast and profound, it is important that each speech has a kind of key message and the principal tenet of this one is that all decisions are essentially investment decisions and that all of us as decision makers are essentially investors every moment of every day.

Naturally most of our investments are not financial but take many different forms; money is just one of many limited resources that we are always allocating in a world of uncertainty, the most profound, of course, being our precious time.

Essentially then, I’m trying to show people how the process of decision making is essentially the process of trying to maximise the returns they make on their investments. In life these might be better relationships and quality of life. In business it is all about efficiency, productivity, doing more with less and, in a literal sense, return on investment.

This sounds complicated but it’s not – after all we all do it hundreds of times every single day!

In order to be great decision makers – or investors – we need to understand the brilliance, but also the limitations and flaws, of our innate judgement and decision making mechanism. Most notable among these is our emotional fear of failure. It is this which very often stops us from taking opportunities with high overall returns and which must therefore be conquered.

The speech identifies and defines the origins of fear of failure and concludes by identifying how we embrace this fear in order to motivate us to make more courageous and more effective decisions. It uses poker as a metaphor for decision making in order to demonstrate how to manage risk, stay safe and do more with few resources in everything we do.

Suitable For: People in any organisation who have to make any meaningful decision; who have to lead and take responsibility and motivate others. People involved in finance will understand the basic learning but even then this is the first time for many that they have applied such decision making theory to all aspects of their professional and personal lives.

Great at the beginning, after lunch or end of a day. Works in 30/45/60/90 minute and workshop/seminar form.