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INSIDE This Issue
Easter, Spring, and the Beauty of Rebirth page 1
Your Logo Shouldn’t Run Your Business 3 Places to View Natural Wonders page 2 Natural Disasters Are Changing the Insurance Landscape Sudoku page 3
Entrepreneurship Library: ‘Thinking in Bets’ page 4
ANNIE DUKE’S ‘THINKING IN BETS’ What a Poker Pro Can Teach You About Risk
Poker provides a fertile analogy for this concept. It’s a game of imperfect information. No matter
Annie Duke may seem an unlikely business consultant given that she’s best known as a professional poker player. But the lessons in her new book, “Thinking in Bets,” extend far beyond the felt. Duke, who studied psychology at UPenn and has consulted for a number of companies, takes the decision-making lessons she learned at the poker table and applies them to the hard choices we have to make in business. To emphasize the nature of her work, Duke begins with an introduction called “WhyThis Isn’t a Poker Book.” She writes that the process of thinking in bets “starts with recognizing that there are exactly two things that determine how our lives turn out: the quality of our decisions and luck.” When you make a decision, you rarely have perfect clarity regarding all the factors at play. This imperfect picture is what makes every business decision risky. Duke argues that ignoring inherent risk results in dangerous outcome- based thinking. As an alternative, she proposes that you acknowledge that not every decision will be the right one. This way, you can investigate the nature of your decision-making process and improve it without being blinded by lucky (or unlucky) results.
howmuch poker you’ve played, you never know which cards the other players hold. You can make educated inferences based on the information you gather, but there is always going to be a risk in calling a bet. The process parallels how we decide what’s best for a company. We analyze all the information we have at hand and make a projection about the best option. Until the decision plays out, we won’t know the outcome. Though Duke knows more about poker than just about anyone, she doesn’t limit her examples to gambling. She writes with equal skill and depth about everything from CEOs to football coaches. “Thinking in Bets” is a comprehensive overview of risk assessment that provides countless tips on how to improve your decision-making. Even if you have no idea whether a flush beats a straight, you’ll find “Thinking in Bets” a valuable addition to your leadership library. Entrepreneurship requires making millions of decisions. Don’t you want to make them better?
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