Quaker teenagers – The 200 words project

Here’s this week’s 200 word idea from Decisive by Chip Heath and Dan Heath..

An analysis of teenager decision making showed –
– 30% of teenager decisions were just statements or “yes-and-yes” decisions. E.g. “I am going to go to that party,” “I am not going to smoke.”
– Another 35% were “whether-or-not” decisions. E.g. “Should I go to that party or not?”

In other words, teens are very binary. They don’t consider any options and instead spend a lot of time mulling over one option.

In an analysis of 168 decisions made by companies across industries, researcher Paul Nutt found that only 29% of the decisions made by companies had options => companies were worse than teenagers in making decisions.

In fact, large acquisition decisions were often a result of a “yes and yes” decision. The CEO decided a company was worth acquiring and everyone else worked hard to prove him right. A famous example is Quaker’s failed acquisition of Snapple for $1.7 Billion. Ex-Quaker CEO, William Smithburg, later admitted that the acquisition had no one within the company challenging it. Think about that – the largest acquisition in the company’s history had no one challenging it.

Do we consider options when we make big decisions within our teams?

Source and thanks to: www.EBSketchin.com

‘There was so much excitement about bringing in a new brand, a brand with legs. We should have had a couple of people arguing the ‘no’ side of the evaluation.’ | William Smithburg reflecting on the Snapple debacle