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Sydney Finkelstein

In this follow-up to the #1 bestseller, Why Smart Executives Fail, Sydney Finkelstein and co-authors Jo Whitehead and Andrew Campbell turn their attention to such major strategic decisions as the war in Iraq, Hurricane Katrina, and numerous business cases to explain why decision-makers sometimes think they’re right when they are really wrong. The book takes up recent research in neuroscience, cognitive psychology, and management to not only document why things go wrong, but also to offer a series of solutions that reduce our vulnerability to falling into the traps that lead to bad decisions. In light of the ongoing financial crisis, the lessons from this book are especially timely.

Why do smart and experienced leaders make flawed, even catastrophic, decisions? Why do people keep believing they have made the right choice, even when disastrous result stare them in the face? And how can you be sure you’re making the right decision—without the benefit of hindsight? Think Again shows how our brains can mislead us. The shortcuts our brains have learned to take over millennia of evolution help us most of the time. But, under certain conditions, they can derail our decision making. Think Again offers a powerful model for identifying when we are at risk – the red flags to watch for – and how we can design safeguards to help us make good decisions. Using examples from business, politics, and history, Think Again deconstructs bad decisions, as they unfolded in real time, to show how you can avoid the same fate.