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Leaders as Decision Architects

Psychology, decision making, leadership

All employees, from CEOs to frontline workers, commit preventable mistakes: We underestimate how long it will take to finish a task, overlook or ignore information that reveals a flaw in our planning, or fail to take advantage of company benefits that are in our best interests. It’s extraordinarily difficult to rewire the human brain to undo the patterns that lead to such mistakes. But there is another approach: Alter the environment in which decisions are made so that people are more likely to make choices that lead to good outcomes.

Leaders can do this by acting as architects. Drawing on our extensive research in the consulting, software, entertainment, health care, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, banking, retail, and food industries and on the basic principles of behavioral economics, we have developed an approach for structuring work to encourage good decision making.

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