The Randt

If a Picture’s Worth Thousand Words… What Is a Great Decision Tree Worth???

If a Picture’s Worth Thousand Words

Think about the wide variety of decisions.

  • WOPR from “WarGames” – an intricate network of battlefield cases
  • Asking someone on a date – your personal romantic comedy, complete with sheer panic, personal mumbling, and humor
  • Debt v. equity – a maze of financial jargon and trends that can cripple the mind
  • Frogger (why would anything try to cross that road!) – split-second choices with the wrong move meaning a squished amphibian and the right move meaning victory

Decision trees are our mental roadmaps complete with twists and turns. From boardroom planning to silly games, and everything in between, the value of a great decision tree can be measured – it’s winning or losing. So why do so many decisions trees miss the mark?

Now think about how decisions are made.

  • Difficulty – simple vs complex
  • Speed – impulsive vs plodding
  • Importance – fun vs critical
  • Comfort – confident vs concerned

Good-Bad v. Right-Wrong.

From Fortune 500 to startups, businesses are making decisions every day. Some decisions turn out to be right, while others turn out to be wrong. Trial-and-error is how companies get better. But there’s an enormous difference between right v. wrong decisions and good v. bad decisions.

Good decisions can still turn out to have the wrong outcome. It’s not fun, but it’s part of learning. Bad decisions can turn out right. Somehow bad decision-making has gotten intermingled with the concept of “failing fast” to justify often ridiculously bad decisions that cost companies buyer loyalty, plus the two assets that cannot be returned – time, and money. It is the “definition of insanity.”

Borrow money at 0% and loaning it at 4%, 5%, 10%, it’s not difficult to make money. The past decade’s endless supply of capital has masked many bad decisions because equity firms always believe they can catch the next “lightning in a bottle.” For some, this gambling approach is simply how the game is played. Check the odds, make the decision, and keep the balls in the air until, catch the winner. For others, this wheel-spinning approach is like nails on a chalkboard. Regardless of which camp, all are playing the game. So, it’s all about the ability to play the game better than others, and that advantage comes from having a great decision tree.

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