Taking too long to make decisions, even if it’s for the purpose of gathering as much information as possible, can make things move too slowly and cautiously. Instead, it can be useful to adopt different decision making styles for reversible versus irreversible decisions. Jeff Bezos of Amazon strongly embraces this principle, making reversible decisions swiftly and boldly on less-than-perfect information while adopting a more cautious and deliberative approach to irreversible ones. Making the wrong choice on a reversible decisions can still yield valuable experience and knowledge, while making the wrong choice on an irreversible decision tends to be have more negative results.
- Different leaders have different decision making rules that they fall back on, such as Warren Buffett’s dislike of choices requiring too much opaque, convoluted math, and Steve Jobs’ “default no.”
- Jeff Bezos of Amazon adopts a bold, fast-moving decision making style for reversible decisions, and a slower and more cautious one for irreversible ones.
- The ability to make decisions quickly is an important strategic advantage, and being more nimble can really pay off with reversible choices.
“Reversible decisions can be made fast and without obsessing over finding complete information. We can be prepared to extract wisdom from the experience with little cost if the decision doesn’t work out.”
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