Recommended reading – decision related reading

Suggested reading material to aid your strategic decision making

Resilience: Why Things Bounce Back


The visual display of quantitative information

Edward Tufte’s classic book on the design of statistical graphics – a must-read for anyone interested in communication of data through visualisation. Theory and practice in the design of data graphics with 250 illustrations of the best (and some of the worst) statistical graphics.



The Speed of Trust : Stephen M. Covey

Ironically, when I first came across this book – I did not trust it. It is written by the son of the famous (7 Habits) Stephen Covey and I assumed it was a case of “jumping on the bandwagon”. However, having read it I was pleasantly surprised to find an interesting and important piece of original work – with many implications for strategic decision-making.

Have a look at my short article on the book and its implications and then go ahead and buy the book if you are interested. There are both personal and professionals lessons to be learnt.

Article on “The impact of trust on decision-making

The Speed of Trust  _______________________________________________________________________________________

Decision making and behavioural economics.

It appears as if behavioural economics (the “science” behind the behavioural aspects of how our conscious and sub-conscious impacts on our decision-making) has become the flavour of the month. At Genesis, we have been assisting clients in avoiding these traps and educating Executives on this topic for a number of years.

However, there are a number of excellent (and readable) books on the topic now available – and we would recommend the following:

Predictably irrational”
by Dan Ariely

by Malcolm Gladwell


“Streetlights and shadows”
Gary Klein

Gary talks about how decisions are made in real life. Excellently researched and written to read easily. Great cases and much food for thought.


“The back of the napkin”
Solving problems and selling ideas with pictures
Dan Roam

This is one of the best books I have read that can help you use simple visualisation techniques to simplify, clarify and communicate ideas – as well as to help you thinking through a problem.
It should be in every Executive’s and consultant’s briefcase (too valuable to be left on the bookshelf!).

And some of his later books (if you already have read the first and most important one, above)

Extracting Value – the book

Stalking the black swan”
Research and decision-making in a world of high volatility.
Kenneth A. Posner

I have almost finished a really interesting read that mixes quantitative analysis with behavioural science, suggesting ways that decision makers deal with “black swans”. Some uncanny overlaps to my article. As the author says:

I reviewed your article and agree that we have both developed similar practices in regards to scenario forecasting; obviously, we’ve both done our homework.  I especially liked your challenge board idea, because as I point out in “Stalking,” companies and managers sometimes get too focused on their narrow area of expertise, leaving them at risk of missing the big picture.  I agree with your point about needing to “adapt on the fly,” which is also a theme in my book