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The Head Game: High-Efficiency Analytic Decision Making and the Art of Solving Complex Problems Quickly

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  99 ratings  ·  17 reviews
We've all been there: faced with a major decision, yet overwhelmed by the very data that is supposed to help us. It’s an all-too-common struggle in the digital age, when Google searches produce a million results in a split second and software programs provide analysis faster than we could ever hope to read it.

Adapting the geopolitical and historical lessons gleaned from ov
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Hardcover, 288 pages
Published April 6th 2015 by Liveright (first published January 1st 2015)
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3.63  · 
Rating details
 ·  99 ratings  ·  17 reviews


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د.أمجد الجنباز
Nov 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
يتحدث الكتاب عن الية التفكير في المشكلات لاتخاذ القرارت بالية رصينة
Deane Barker
May 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Interesting book written by a former CIA deputy director. It recounts the analysis of many problems in the intelligence world and dissects the analysis problem -- how do we determine the correct question, how do we understand the correct drivers, how do we synthesize all the data, etc? It presents a six-step checklist to make better decisions midst a complicated decision framework.

It helps if you're really interested in intelligence, which I am. Some of the discussions about the Indian nuclear t
...more
Charmin
Nov 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: growth
Highlights:

1. The art of thinking backwards: information should give us some kind of decision advantage, helping us to think smarter about how to lead our own life. The analyst helps a decision maker narrow uncertainty by applying knowledge and experience after the analyst understands the decision makers question.
- Using information to help make better decisions. Question what we need to know.
- Keep the purpose of the briefing in the back of your mind. The audience is a non-expert listener.
- The
...more
Bob Wallner
Jul 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
I don't know if it was the testosterone pumping or the subject matter of this book, but I found it very interesting. The author discusses his method of using efficient analytics. As a lean leader and Six Sigma Black Belt this is definitely a topic that was of interest, but what may have been even greater interest, was that the author was a member of CIA who reported directly to several presidents.


The case studies he provides, for the most part, are declassified intelligence and analytics that w
...more
Nuel Sitanggang
Jul 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Isinya beberapa panduan meningkatkan kualitas diskusi/brainstorming & menghindari pitfall yang sering dilakukan pakar. Sayangnya karena konteksnya analisis intelijen, agak kurang relevan dengan kehidupan sehari-hari. Studi kasusnya pengalaman-pengalaman CIA pas melakukan analisis yang salah (tuduhan WMD di Irak, kejatuhan Shah di Iran, tes nuklir di India).

Sebagian dari buku ini membahas tentang kognitif bias, jadi kalo sudah pernah baca buku tentang kognitif bias (rekomendasiku: Thinking fa
...more
Jeff
Jun 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-read
Analytic decision making sounds like a daunting subject but it doesn't have to be- especially after reading Philip Mudd's book The Head Game. What's really great about this book is that the author uses examples from his professional work with the CIA and FBI and then applies the same principles to everyday decision making.

I personally have had experiences where trying to answer questions quickly and succinctly was difficult. Sometimes, as Mudd emphasizes in this book, it's asking or answering th
...more
Stella Spang
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
George
Jan 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2016
Brilliant book written by a long time CIA analyst who was on the floor analyzing many of the seminal events in the past decade (India's nuclear bomb test, WMDs in Iraq, 9/11). He presents a simple yet powerful analytical tool to systematically think through difficult problems. Key idea is that before diving into the data, you invest time into developing a good question that gives the decision maker a decision advantage. He eschews yes/so questions, reviews cognitive biases, and regales us with s ...more
Argum
I won a free copy of this book from Goodreads FirstReads.

Mr. Mudd sets out a clear path for better decision making. Given his personal history as a CIA analyst, the examples are very terrorism heavy. I did not expect this and did not enjoy it. Real life examples are great, but I just don't enjoy reading about terrorism. The decision making plan though is useful if not revolutionary. My educational background in modeling may make me outside the norm on this thinking though. Starting with an endp
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David Farrell
Apr 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
One of the better books I've read on analytical techniques to aid in decision making and managing uncertainty associated with complex policy issues. The content is closely aligned to many of the technical systems analysis books I've read in the past and in graduate school; many analysts/authors try to contribute to the analytical dialogue by offering increasingly detailed techniques to execute basic/fundamental steps of analysis, but Mudd conveyed his experience and recommendations to these conc ...more
Michael Jones
Sep 03, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: did-not-finish
This book contains some incredibly useful information, if the part I made it through is any indication. But the writing style is so verbose and dense with ideas that I found my mind wandering, and ultimately decided that there are better uses of my time than to struggle on through the other two-thirds of the book. If that kind of writing is what you are used to, I'd say it might be a very good read for you.
S
Sep 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
I'm a professional analyst. I solve problems using data and modeling every day. The insights in the book are very true. For example, sometimes the most difficult part is to solve the "right" question and present the analysis in the context.

I would have given the book five stars if it was shorter.
Avi-Gil
Sep 24, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
**Proof sent to me for free via Goodreads "First Reads" program.

Interesting method of making decisions on complex, multi-faceted issues. The author draws heavily on examples from his years at the CIA, which is interesting but perhaps makes the book less valuable to a broad audience than it would be if the examples were drawn from business.
Pablo
Nov 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Straight from the source, a concrete and easy to understand guide for how to break down complex analytical problems and analyze them methodically. Refreshingly oriented toward the practical
Mary
Jul 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Engaging, interesting and quite practical. Challenges your thinking process.
Alice
Apr 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads . I enjoyed reading this book .I will be looking for more books from the author in the future , Great book !!
Marcia Scurfield
Jun 11, 2015 is currently reading it
Shelves: first-reads
Wow! The First Reads giveaway was over on June 11 and my copy of the book arrived in less than a week! Looks fascinating--and useful.
Nolly
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Aug 09, 2015
ARIJE Jamiu
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Gary Abbott
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Philip Mudd has decades of experience as an analyst and executive at the CIA, FBI, and the White House National Security Council, and has taught courses around the world on methodologies for understanding difficult analytic problems. He has also commented about terrorism in open and closed congressional testimony, and is regularly featured on CNN, NBC, Fox News, and NPR. His writing has appeared i ...more