Typically, when confronted with decision making, we all do sort of a pros & cons evaluation and give it our best guess. I must admit that before reading (the first half) of this book, I'd never realised how poor that really is. I also realised how right Einstein was saying 'you can never solve a problem within the context of the problem itself'. Which is exactly what the pros & cons evaluation does wrong.
Here's the CBA insight: any 'con' is really a 'pro' for an alternative. Now let that sink in... I find that pure genius. All you have to do is understand what the actual alternatives are and list all the pro's for each one of them. You then prioritise the pro's and decide which ones really matter... the choice is then so much more easy, and 'sound'. Doing pro/con will in fact have lead you into doubling the con's and overlooking pro's (think about that).
Imagine the following example: you've found some property you'd like to buy, now you want to make sure it's the right choice. Typical pro/con thinking could lead to something like this:
* Pro: Price, condition of the property, commute to work
* Con: No garden, run-down neighbourhood
How on earth could you really compare apples and pears like this and make a sound decision? The CBA alternative would make you evaluate more along these lines:
List attributes/factors that really matter to you: ie, distance to work, quality of the neighbourhood and mortgage expenses. Then look at all your alternatives and see which one has the advantage in these attributes over the others, and score the delta if you find that helpful: * Pro's for buying this property: Mortgage expenses (+2p), commute to work (+5p)
* Pro's for staying put: Nice neighbourhood (+10)
The book is a bit boring to read though, and incredibly repetitive at times. I guess I love the idea, but not the execution.
Choosing by Advantages Decision Making System, by Jim Suhr.