Tune In: A Book Review by Bob Morris

Tune In: How to Make Smarter Decisions in a Noisy World
Nuala Walsh
Hanover House (March 2024)

How making smarter decisions will accelerate your personal growth and professional development

In Judgment Calls, Thomas Davenport and Brooke Manville explain how and why decisions made by a Great Organization tend to be much better than those made by a Great Leader. Why? While conducting rigorous and extensive research over a period of many years, they discovered – as Laurence Prusak notes in the Foreword — “that no one was looking into the workings of what we term [begin italics] organizational judgment [end italics] – the collective capacity to make good calls and wise moves when the need for them exceeds the scope of any single leader’s direct control.”

I was again reminded of that passage as I began to read this book by Nuala Walsh. She shares her thoughts about how to make smarter decisions, especially now when the business world is more volatile, more uncertain, more complex, and more ambiguous than at any prior time that I can recall.

Walsh: “This book is for everyone who wants to maximise their decision impact and limit regret. It’s for every ambitious ladder-climber striving to fast-track performance or side-track reputation error. And it’s for the intellectually curious leader and learner, eager to advance their understanding of human behaviour and supplement their professional skillset.”

These are the subjects Walsh examines that are of greatest interest and value to me:

o Mishearing, misinformation, and misjudgment
o Judgement “killers”
o Trust but verify
o Ten types of traps
o Hearing what matters

o “Decision friction”
o “Novel perspectives”
o Interrupt Mindsets
o In Tunde: The Decision Ninja
o Perimeter Perspectives

I agree with Thomas Davenport and Brooke Manville about the importance of collective judgment if (HUGE “if”) those involved have accelerated their personal growth and professional development by enriching their understanding of human behaviour and strengthening their professional skillset. That’s where Nuala Walsh and Tune In come in.

And so does Alvin Toffler. In Future Shock (1970), he offers this prediction: “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.”

Bottom line: Those who are determined to succeed must tune in to themselves as well as to coworkers and customers by knowing HOW to make better decisions, both as an individual and in collaboration with others. Everyone involved must be well-prepared to “learn, unlearn, and relearn.”

* * *

In school, college, and then graduate school, I learned more and learned it faster when I discussed material in a group with 3-5 others taking the same course. I also recorded key Q&As on 3×5 file cards (based on course material, whatever the subject) with a Q on one side and the A on the other, held together by a thick rubber band. I carried them with me and reviewed the content whenever I had a few minutes to kill.

Here are two other suggestions to keep in mind while reading Tune In: Highlight key passages, and, perhaps in a lined notebook kept near at hand, record your comments, questions, action steps (preferably with deadlines), page references, and lessons you have learned as well as your responses to key points posed within the narrative. Also record your responses to specific questions posed by “The Decision Ninja: What to Remember” material, at the conclusion of chapters in Parts One and Two.

These two simple tactics — highlighting and documenting — will facilitate, indeed expedite frequent reviews of key material later.

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