December 2, 2020

The science of decision-making in the “new abnormal,” with Dr. Gleb Tsipursky

Episode 980:

Avoiding business mistakes using the science of decision-making

What You Will Learn:

  • How Dr. Gleb’s family life as a child informed his decision to study the behavioral science of risk-taking and decision-making in his career
  • How Dr. Gleb’s work lies in helping business owners identify and recognize the negative patterns within their decision-making processes that lead to business mistakes
  • How the “gut instincts” humans developed during our tribal stage of evolution often conflicts with the decisions we have to make in our modern world
  • How our tribal instincts sometimes lead us to unfounded cognitive biases that lead us to make decisions that make little sense for our businesses
  • Why entrepreneurs often lean toward “optimism bias”, and how that optimism bias can negatively impact their decision-making and risk-taking
  • What steps entrepreneurs can take to avoid making decisions based on optimism bias, and what key five questions you should ask yourself to make decisions more effectively
  • Why resilience is the key to dealing with the long-term, lasting effects of the global pandemic and the chaos it has brought to business owners
  • Why the ongoing global pandemic is the “new abnormal”, and why our lives will likely be disrupted for as long as seven years until we’re back to normal again
  • Why the logistics of the vaccines currently in development mean that even once a vaccine is created it will take a long time to deploy to a critical mass of the population

Avoiding business mistakes using the science of decision-making

Believe it or not, cognitive science can help us make better business decisions and avoid costly business mistakes. Dr. Gleb Tsipursky is a behavioral economist and cognitive neuroscientist who is an expert at helping business owners recognize and overcome their internal “cognitive biases”. In this episode of Onward Nation, Dr. Tsipursky explains the science of decision-making and shares how our tribal instincts often lead us to make the wrong “gut decisions”. He outlines a realistic timeline of the global pandemic and shares tips and strategies for better judgment and taking the right risks while avoiding the wrong ones so that your business can navigate the pandemic and come roaring out the other side.

The science of avoiding business mistakes and making better decisions

By our nature, most entrepreneurs are predisposed to see things from a more optimistic perspective. While this isn’t inherently a bad thing, it can cause us to take unnecessary risks with our businesses. As Dr. Tsipsurky explains, many of the decisions we make are informed by “cognitive biases”, subconscious thought processes left over from mankind’s early, tribal stage. These gut feelings are often ill-equipped to handle the complexities of modern life, yet we are inclined to “listen to our gut” even when it is leading us in the wrong direction. However, by asking ourselves the right questions, we can avoid the trap of the various kinds of cognitive bias that color our decisions. The five key questions Dr. Tsipsurky shared are:

  • What evidence didn’t I take into account, and what information didn’t I consider?
  • What dangerous judgment errors might be in play in this situation?
  • What would a trusted and objective advisor tell me?
  • How have I addressed all the ways this could fail?
  • What new information would cause me to change my mind?

The “new abnormal” of the global pandemic

One of the most pronounced ways “optimism bias” expresses itself can be seen in how we view the global pandemic. Many people are inclined to hold steady and “wait out” the crisis, but as Dr. Tipsursky explained during the interview, the reality is that the chaos and changes wrought by the pandemic are likely to be with us for a long time. Due to the logistics of developing, storing, deploying and administering a potential vaccine, the challenges we are facing today are very likely to be the “new abnormal” for the next several years. As business leaders, it is important to accept this and begin planning long-term strategy around the new reality of business. While an end to these challenging times is certainly in sight and offers hope for a bright future, businesses must be prepared to navigate the many challenges they face in the meantime. The steps entrepreneurs take today can help their businesses reach the light at the end of the tunnel even stronger than before, but only if we make the right decisions through clarity and intentionality.

Business mistakes

How to Connect with Dr. Gleb Tsipursky:

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Stephen Woessner

Stephen is the CEO of Predictive ROI and host of the Onward Nation podcast. He is the author of two bestselling books, speaker, trainer, and his digital marketing insights have been featured in SUCCESS, Entrepreneur, The Washington Post, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, and other media.