Learn from Failure: The Key to Successful Decision Making
by Robert V. Sicina

"Deciding how to decide was key."

Written by a university professor and entrepreneur with extensive experience in the fields of economics and business, this book strives to teach readers better strategies for making decisions. Failure becomes defined as the inability to reach the desired goal, and the author uses several anecdotes to highlight some of the disastrous elements that can damage the long-term prosperity of a business, such as the blaming of others for setbacks, failing to welcome diversity in perspectives, or becoming too comfortable with set models. The chapters are based around a framework designated as the “Cube,” broken down into the topics of irrationality, complexity, and uncertainty. Each area receives further categorizations and illustrations to help the reader better understand them in practice, alongside similar factors to consider in the decision-making process.

This text would make great supplemental material for students taking business or economic courses as it could offer them greater insights into how and why companies make certain decisions. Many contemporary businesses are examined in terms of their dealings and decision-making policies—including Citibank, General Motors, and even the notorious Enron—that can help students make stronger connections with what they are learning about and apply it to the world outside the classroom. However, the work also places great emphasis on the need to stay flexible in one’s thinking, continue to gather as much information as possible for the greatest chance of success, and be sensitive to the ideas of other people—invaluable assets through life in general, not just in specialized areas of study. As such, this book can make an interesting read even for someone simply interested in taking a glimpse into the world of business and economics.

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