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Sidetracked: Why Our Decisions Get Derailed, and How We Can Stick to the Plan

Harvard Business School professor Francesca Gino explores decision making in this Leadership Channel Podcast

Francesca Gino Leadership Interview on TotalPicture RadioFrancesca Gino

Why do our plans so often go astray, and how can we keep them on track? What factors are likely to sway our decisions in directions we did not initially consider? And what can we do to correct the subtle influences that derail our most important decisions?

Welcome to a Leadership Channel Podcast on TotalPicture Radio with Peter Clayton reporting. In her new book, SIDETRACKED: Why Our Decisions Get Derailed, and How We Can Stick to the Plan, behavioral scientist and Harvard Business School professor Francesca Gino explores decision making in a wide range of circumstances-from the roles of consumers and employees to the choices we make more broadly as human beings, such as who we date, and how we deal with friendships.

Gino's research highlights how seemingly innocuous factors, such as the amount of lighting in a room, the bitterness of a cup of morning coffee, or the way the furniture is arranged in an office, can have a significant impact on our decisions and behavior-a far greater impact than we might wish to admit. Gino identifies nine principles to avoid getting sidetracked, and three different sets of forces that influence our decisions in ways we commonly fail to anticipate: forces from within ourselves, forces from our relationships with others, and forces from the outside world. By understanding these forces, individuals can make successful decisions and learn to account for them to set goals or clarify plans of action. In addition, individuals can make sense of the decisions of others and understand their own influence on them.

Through examples from Volkswagen, presidential elections, Major League Baseball, and more, Gino explains that by identifying and acknowledging the forces that sidetrack decisions and applying these principles, individuals can learn to successfully stick to their plan, and help others behave according to their goals.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Francesca Gino is associate professor of business administration in the Negotiation, Organizations & Markets Unit at Harvard Business School. Her research focuses on judgment and decision making, social influence, ethics and creativity. Her studies have been featured on CNN and NPR, as well as in leading print publications including The Economist, the Financial Times, the New York Times, Newsweek, Scientific American, and Psychology Today. In 2009, the New York Times featured Gino's research in The 9th Annual Year in Ideas.

Peter Clayton

About Peter Clayton

Peter Clayton, Producer/Host, is an award-winning producer/director of radio, television, documentary, video, interactive and Web-based media who has created breakthrough media for a wide array of Fortune 100 clients.


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