Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Head Game: High-Efficiency Analytic Decision Making and the Art of Solving Complex Problems Quickly” as Want to Read:
The Head Game: High-Efficiency Analytic Decision Making and the Art of Solving Complex Problems Quickly
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

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
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published April 6th 2015 by Liveright (first published January 1st 2015)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Head Game, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Head Game

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.63  · 
Rating details
 ·  99 ratings  ·  17 reviews

Sort order
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
Nov 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: growth

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
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
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
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
Stella Spang
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
Jul 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Engaging, interesting and quite practical. Challenges your thinking process.
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.
rated it liked it
Aug 09, 2015
rated it liked it
Jan 21, 2017
Nam Nguyen
rated it really liked it
Nov 21, 2016
rated it liked it
Mar 20, 2016
Pieter Van der walt
rated it really liked it
May 13, 2015
rated it really liked it
Aug 10, 2015
Cazanaru Serban Alexandru
rated it it was amazing
Dec 29, 2015
Evelyn Heil
rated it it was ok
Jul 04, 2017
Gary Abbott
rated it it was amazing
Oct 29, 2015
Trevor Byrd
rated it liked it
Oct 20, 2017
rated it really liked it
Jun 08, 2015
Cindy  Shearer Colean
rated it it was amazing
Apr 21, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Execute
  • Embrace the Struggle: Living Life on Life's Terms
  • Hard Measures: How Aggressive CIA Actions After 9/11 Saved American Lives
  • The Brain Audit: Why Customers Buy (and Why They Don't)
  • The Win Without Pitching Manifesto
  • Get the Truth: Former CIA Officers Teach You How to Persuade Anyone to Tell All
  • Gridiron Genius: A Master Class in Winning Championships and Building Dynasties in the NFL
  • @War: The Rise of the Military-Internet Complex
  • The Robert Collier Letter Book
  • The Perfect Kill: 21 Laws for Assassins
  • Know This: Today's Most Interesting and Important Scientific Ideas, Discoveries, and Developments
  • A Spy's Journey: A CIA Memoir
  • The Self-made Billionaire Effect Deluxe: How Extreme Producers Create Massive Value
  • China Hands: Nine Decades of Adventure, Espionage, and Diplomacy in Asia
  • Performance Dashboards: Measuring, Monitoring, and Managing Your Business
  • The Best of Guerrilla Marketing: Guerrilla Marketing Remix
  • In Search of Enemies: A CIA Story
  • Travelers' Tales India: True Stories
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