decision • strategy
-NOUN /dəˈsiZHən ˈstradəjəy/
Annie brings her background in cognitive science and poker together to understand how we make decisions, the systematic obstacles that prevent us from making our best decisions, what these obstacles cost us in the workplace and throughout our lives, and how to create practical solutions that make decision making more rational.
how annie applies decision science
- first-class education in human behavior, active and continuing dialogue with the academic community on human decision making.
- 20 years of experience in the real-world behavioral lab or professional poker. using her behavioral approach to understand that the thinking patterns and traps into which most players fall, and what the best platers do different and better.
- each speech is a custom presentation. annie consults with the organization representing the audience to choose the best message, examples, lessons, and visual material. examples come from poker, daily life, business and enterprise life, the latest developments in news, politics, sports, family life and child raising, health and lifestyle choices, and marketing and consumer behavior.
- as a consequence, her talks are grounded in behavioral science, tested in a real-world laboratory, reviewed with experts in economics, psychology, and neuroscience. her talks connect with audiences.
We live in an outcome-oriented world, nowhere more than in the workplace. Enterprises reward positive outcomes and discourage negative outcomes. This follows the human tendency to feel responsible when things go well, and blame factors outside our control when they don’t. Because the correlation between decisions and outcomes is, at best, vague, living through outcomes is an enemy of learning, innovation, and risk-taking.
Our deliberative minds are capable of great things. Experience, backed by leading scientific research, tells us that our brains rarely get a clear shot at decision making. Emotion, systematic bias, and competing neural processes interfere. For instance, winning and losing conditions produce different feelings, even to the point that identical results can feel different. Our impulse can be the opposite of rational: feeling good about quitting with small wins, yet chasing big losses in unfavorable conditions. We can’t change our feelings, but there are practical methods to keep them from influencing our behavior.
We think we are capable of evaluating and incorporating new information. Our process, as we imagine it, is that we are exposed to new information, decide if it is credible, and incorporate it into our beliefs. In fact, most of our beliefs developed in a less rational way: we were exposed to a piece of information, believed it, and later decided on its credibility. This gives our initial beliefs an unearned validity, even to the point where we actively and selectively marshal information to confirm them and discredit contrary information.
Our decisions have consequences that differ over time. For very fundamental reasons, we overwhelmingly favor the present and discount the future. As a society, this is evident in our dieting habits and the state of our retirement planning. Whether it is returning a phone call or negotiating terms with a customer, our workplace choices systematically sacrifice the future for the present. To guard against this impulse, enterprises and individuals need strategies and processes that align short- and long-term goals.
“Annie showed us how to scale thoughtful risk taking in a complex organization and in so doing realize the dream of Collaborative Agility! And she helped me hold up a mirror to my own biases and self-limiting beliefs, helping me let go and grow toward becoming the leader I have always wanted to be.”