Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don’t Have All the Facts

By Annie Duke

Annie Duke is a former World Series of Poker champion turned consultant. Daniel Finkelstein devoured this book, and agreed that her approach to decision-making holds lessons that could help us all – not just in our personal lives, but in other arenas too. The art of conducting a pre-mortem (ante-mortem), rather than a post-mortem is to shift your thinking from a need for certainty to a goal of accurately assessing what you do know and what you don’t, about how you arrived at an outcome. Being clinical, being focussed, removing yourself from the need to dissect failure or success, in theory you will be less vulnerable to reactive emotions, knee-jerk biases, and destructive habits. As the Fink points out, Duke’s book is complex, but its message is clear: there is immense benefit in contemplating preparations for alternative outcomes, rather than – clouded by knowns and unknowns – pontificating madly about what did or did not happen. Spoiler alert: in his own personal pre-mortem of PIAT potential… James Holland would still have gone ahead with MARKET GARDEN.

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