I’m a waffler. I waffle like an Eggo. I waffle like an ice cream cone. I am so bad about pulling the trigger on any decision and am constantly evaluating alternatives (thanks, anxiety! Store-bought serotonin can only eliminate so much of my personality). So I was pleased when I found that Chip and Dan Heath – whose Made To Stick put them on my “I’ll buy anything they write” list – wrote a book about making better decisions.
The Heaths go through the “WRAP” process (which stands for Widen your options, Reality test your assumptions, Attain distance before Deciding, and Prepare to be wrong) with anecdotal support and hypothetical “clinics” to work through problems using each step. It’s all entertainingly presented and easy to understand, but the anecdotes sometimes obfuscate the point, diverting from the step they’re used to illustrate. To wit: I had to go to the Amazon page to remember what the WRAP process was. That said, it’s praising with faint damnation to complain that a book is too entertaining.
In much the same way that the Heath brothers expanded on the idea of “Stickiness” from Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point, I want more about widening your options. The other steps are all logical and fairly easy to initiate, but widening your options requires the subject to step out of their own mindset a bit – cutting the Gordian knot so to speak. I have a colleague who is amazing at finding solutions like this, seeing the basic obvious answer that exists outside of the problem, and if I could learn to think off the beaten path better I think I could be a better problem-solver.
In any case, worth the read, if not quite as good as Made To Stick.