The Art of Choosing
I recently attended a talk on choice given by Professor Sheena Iyengar, the inaugural S.T. Lee Professor of Business in the Management Division at Columbia Business School and the Director of the Global Leadership Matrix initiative. Choice is a very powerful tool in our lives as it helps us get from here to the future, but sometimes it is too much. In order to get the most from choice, we must be choosy about choosing. “In reality, many choices are between things that are not that much different. The value of choice depends on our ability to perceive differences between the options” according to Prof. Iyengar.
- CUT – Less is more. Get rid of irrelevant and redundant
- CATEGORIZE – Categorize options and limit choices within each category (up to 24 categories, because one can quickly choose which one is of interest and discard the rest).
- CONCRETIZE – Make choices less abstract, make them vivid
- CONDITION – Condition for complexity. Gradually introduce new features and move from simple to complex.
Prof. Iyengar’s talk captivated me and it has forced me to reflect on my own decision making approach. As I engage with customers, employees and entrepreneurs, I look for opportunities to apply the 4Cs…in an investor pitch, in defining a GTM plan, in increasing customer engagement and improving a customer experience…so we have to give choices in a responsible way– in a way that can improve choosing experiences and help encourage better choice outcomes.
If you want to learn more, I encourage you to read Prof. Iyengar’s book, The Art of Choosing.