The Decision Book – 50 Models for Strategic Thinking, by Mikael Krogerus and Roman Tschäppeler is not primarily a decision-making book.
This is first and foremost a book about thinking.
The authors discuss numerous mental models to help you understand and reason better and presumably enable you to make more informed decisions, to advance toward some goal.
Pictures and not many words
Each model is discussed in a few paragraphs, accompanied by a simple illustration to visualize the model’s principles. This is minimalist, but often effective for what it is – a brief, descriptive introduction.
Altogether then, the authors provide a collection of descriptions for 50+ different models. The visualizations are generally helpful and the visual language presented is useful for thinking about models not covered in this book.
Explaining models or principles in more than one way is inherently useful, both for the explainer as well as the reader.
Thematically, the authors divide the models into the following categories and present them in this order:
- How to improve yourself
- How to understand yourself better
- How to understand others better
- How to improve others
This goes to the core what we care about when we think about learning and decision-making: Understanding and effecting change.
- The Eisenhower Matrix to help clarify the urgent from the important and prioritize work.
- The Johari Window to help understand your relationship with yourself and others.
- The Pareto Principle, also known as the 80/20 rule, describing the “vital few” that have the most impact.
- The project management triangle – given the three constraints of cost, quality and speed, we can generally only optimize for two out of three.
- . . . and dozens more.
Models provide perspective. As such, this collection provides tools to look at the world through many different lenses.
This is a small book that invites browsing and revisiting. It also makes for a good slow read: Every one of the short chapters can easily be understood as a starting point for exploration and deeper research.