How to screw up less when it matters most: Olivier Sibony


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In this episode of The Decision Corner podcast, Brooke is lucky to be joined by Olivier Sibony. Olivier is a thoroughly experienced strategic consultant and a learned researcher on applied behavioral science at the most senior level. He has 25 years of experience at McKinsey and Co. that inform his investigation into successful practices and common pitfalls of organizational behaviour. This conversation brings Olivier’s insights to bear on the issue of decision-making in the C-suite. He draws out some essential guidelines, both from anecdotes and focused research, which culminate in applicable strategies to make any group better able to accomplish its goals. Some of the topics we discuss include:

  • How countering individual cognitive biases may be the secret to a successful corporation
  • Implicit guidelines in the social order of any organization
  • Some apparent paradoxes in the patterns of risk aversion and risk-seeking behaviour in the business world
  • Small vs big risks and how to engineer the right risks at the right times
  • The all-consuming morass of corporate culture
  • Searching for a portfolio approach towards risk: getting in front of the situations that dictate organizational success
  • Which decisions are the important ones, and the case for bureaucracy