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Decisions Quotes

  • "Disregarding information can make not only for cheaper but also for better decisions. Ignorance can be bliss … Among physicians diagnosing heart attacks, simple decision trees beat a complex model. Among detectives locating serial criminals, simple locational rules trump complex psychological profiling. Among investors picking stocks, simple passive strategies outperform complex active ones. And among shopkeepers understanding spending patterns, repeat purchase data out-predict complex models. Applying complex decision rules in a complex environment may be a recipe not just for a cock-up but catastrophe."
    Andy Haldane (1967–), British executive director of the Bank of England
    Speech to the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
    Source: “The Dog and the Frisbee” (August 31, 2012)
  • "Once we have a sense of how long a decision should take, we generally should delay the moment of decision until the last possible instant. If we have an hour, we should wait 59 minutes before responding. If we have a year, we should wait 364 days. Even if we have just half a second, we should wait as long as we possibly can … Life might be a race against time but it is enriched when we rise above our instincts and stop the clock to process and understand what we are doing and why. A wise decision requires reflection, and reflection requires a pause."
    Frank Partnoy, US author and academic, former investment banker
    Source: Wait: The Useful Art of Procrastination (2012)
  • "Part of the resistance against making decisions comes from our fear of giving up options. The word “decide” shares an etymological root with “homicide,” the Latin word “caedere,” meaning “to cut down” or “to kill.”"
    John Tierney (1953–), US science journalist
    Source: “Do You Suffer From Decision Fatigue?” New York Times (August 17, 2011)
  • "Effective decision makers are distinguished, not so much by the superior extent of their knowledge, as by their recognition of the limitations of that knowledge."
    John Kay (1948–), British economist
    Source: Obliquity: Why Our Goals Are Best Achieved Indirectly (2010)
  • "As prime minister you face a decision every hour which comes down to one question-do you want to cut your throat or slit your wrists?"
    Comment by a senior adviser to Tony Blair.
    Source: Quoted in the Independent (London) (September 4, 2009)
  • "Most discussions of decision making assume that only senior executives make decisions or that only senior executives' decisions matter. This is a dangerous mistake."
    Peter F. Drucker (19092005), US management consultant and academic
    Source: Classic Drucker (2006)
  • "Business today is about making decisions amid ambiguity."
    Geraldine Laybourne (1947–), US founder, and former CEO, and former chairman of Oxygen Media
    Source: Quoted in “Next Stop—The 21st Century,” Fast Company (Lucy McCauley, 1999)
  • "Spend the optimal amount of time on each decision and pretty soon you run out of life."
    Steven Waldman, US journalist
    Source: “The Tyranny of Choice,” New Republic (Washington, DC) (January 27, 1992)
  • "A real decision is measured by the fact that you've taken a new action. If there's no action, you haven't truly decided."
    Anthony Robbins (1960–), US motivational writer and speaker
    Source: Awaken the Giant Within (1992)
  • "Every decision is liberating, even if it leads to disaster. Otherwise, why do so many people walk upright and with open eyes into their misfortune."
    Elias Canetti (19051994), British philosopher and writer
    Source: “1980,” The Secret Heart of the Clock: Notes, Aphorisms, Fragments 1973–1985 (1991)
  • "A weak man has doubts before a decision, a strong man has them afterwards."
    Karl Kraus (18741936), Austrian writer
    Source: Half Truths and One-and-a-Half Truths (1990)
  • "Good decisions come from wisdom. Wisdom comes from experience. Experience comes from bad decisions."
    Source: Forbes (August 10, 1987)
  • "What is important is not the decision itself but rather how committed and informed people are. The best decisions can be bungled just as the worst decisions can work just fine."
    William Ouchi (1943–), US writer
    Source: Theory Z: How American Business Can Meet the Japanese Challenge (1981)
  • "The man who is denied the opportunity of taking decisions of importance begins to regard as important the decisions he is allowed to take."
    C. Northcote Parkinson (19091993), British political scientist and author
    Source: Parkinson's Law: The Pursuit of Progress (1958)
  • "A complex decision is like a great river, drawing from its many tributaries the innumerable premises of which it is constituted."
    Herbert A. Simon (19162001), US political scientist and economist
    Source: Administrative Behavior (1947)
  • "There is always a multitude of reasons both in favour of doing a thing and against doing it. The art of debate lies in presenting them; the art of life lies in neglecting ninety-nine hundreths of them."
    Mark Rutherford (18311913), British novelist
    Source: More Pages from a Journal (1910)

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