Decision Maker's Playbook, The

Simon Mueller / Julia Dhar  
Total pages
September 2019
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Decision Maker's Playbook, The


The Decision Maker's Playbook is an easy-to-use, “how-to” toolkit to improve managers' decision making, using visualisations, relevant examples and actionable checklists that cater to its main target group: analytically interested, busy managers and entrepreneurs.

The Decision Maker's Playbook will help readers navigate a complex world. Along the five chapters of the books, it will help you in:

  • 1. Overcoming Blindness (How to See What's Hidden)
  • 2. Connecting the Dots (How to Understand Causes and Effects)
  • 3. Sharpening Projections (How to Think About Tomorrow)
  • 4. Improving Decisions (How to Enhance Judgment)
  • 5. Shaping the Future (How to Act Smartly)

The Decision Maker's Playbook is your personal toolbox to help you make better decisions. It offers practical advice to help you understand, analyse and shape your world.

As simplified representations of reality, the 33 models portrayed in this book allow us to see patterns, identify relationships, and view the world from different vantage points. They help us understand and break up complex phenomena into tractable pieces.

From Unknown unknowns over Fat Tails to Counterfactuals, this book will make lesser known but highly relevant models available for immediate use – in a visual way, supported by applicable case studies and without jargon.

Table of Contents

  • Part 1 Collect evidence
  • 1 Illuminate your blind spots
  • 2 Bust your biases
  • 3 Explore your data
  • Part 2 Connect the dots
  • 4 Drill down
  • 5 Move the needle
  • 6 See the big picture
  • Part 3 Craft the approach
  • 7 Think on the margin
  • 8 Score points
  • 9 Walk the talk
  • Part 4 Complete the mission
  • 10 Multiply your possibilities
  • 11 Engineer incentives
  • 12 Make it happen
  • 13 Conclusion
  • Appendix: Confidence calibration
  • Further resources


Simon Mueller is a Project Leader at Boston Consulting Group. Previously he served as the General Manager of the BCG Henderson Institute, the firm’s strategy and macroeconomics think-tank. Simon has advised industrial and technology clients in North & Latin America, Europe and Asia, where he worked extensively on strategic and transformative projects focusing on advanced technologies such as robotics and 3D-printing. Simon is also co-founder of the global non-profit organization The Future Society, which develops governance solutions to ensure safety, fairness and shared prosperity in light of the rise of intelligent/autonomous systems.

Julia Dhar is a Partner at Boston Consulting Group. She co-founded and leads BeSmart, the firm’s behavioral economics initiative, where she uses her expertise to make organizations more productive, profitable and happier. She has works extensively across the United States, the Middle East and Asia in the public and private sectors. Julia has also held policy and advisory roles in government, including Private Secretary to New Zealand’s Minister of Finance.