Brief updates from Austhink Consulting




September 2014

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Hawks soar
We were very pleased to see the huge win Hawthorn had over Sydney in the AFL Grand Final, putting them into the pantheon of all-time great Australian football teams. Earlier this year we delivered a "cognitive audit" of Hawthorn's coach team decision making, and currently Tim is on an internal Innovation Panel, helping them develop projects aimed at their maintaining their head-and-shoulders lead. Austhink is developing niche expertise in sports decision making and is interested to work with teams from other codes.  
Investment decision making
Meanwhile we have created a sister company, Applied Decision Partners, to focus on investment decision making. ADP brings in the expertise of David Lee, who has held a variety of senior roles in the finance industry. ADP's mission is to "offer fresh, independent perspectives on investment risks, and on investment decision making processes."  
Decision analysis for tax matters
Tim is doing a presentation at the October conference of the Tax Institute on the potential use of decision analysis techniques in tax matters. Tax specialists (lawyers and accountants) generally do not use decision analysis, but they may well be missing opportunities to provide high-value services to suitable clients. He has prepared a conference paper illustrating the use of decision analysis in advising clients on tax strategies, and in how to handle a dispute with the tax office.
Effective deliberation in board meetings
What can boards do to improve their discussions and decision making within meetings?  In August we ran a successful professional development workshop on this topic for the boards of the Australian Dental Association (Vic branch) and the Evident Foundation. For more about this workshop see the description by CEO Garry Pearson.  
Steering the ship aground
While on the topic of board decision making, our colleague Dr Andy Schmulow passed on the following quote from a UK Parliamentary inquiry into the failure of Royal Bank of Scotland: "We are shocked and surprised that, even after the ship has run aground, so many of those who were on the bridge still seem so keen to congratulate themselves on their collective navigational skills.”
Depth of perspective critical
In his writings Paul has been stressing the need for depth of perspective in international crisis situations. He has written on the conflict in the situation in Syria and Iraq, comparing the moral status of ISIL with that of Eichmann and the Nazis. Another piece addressed the conflict in Gaza, underscoring the counter-intuitive thoughts required to turn emotional responses into more considered and dispassionate judgments. A third, pondering he centenary of the beginning of the First World War, pointed to the crucial role of leadership and the differences between Bismarck and the Kaiser, and drew am analogy between Germany then and China now.
Austhinking previous editions: 
  • June 2014 - Elite Decision Teams, Bayes for Everyone
  • March 2014 - Analytics, Major Bids, and Going Nuclear
  • December 2013 - Habits of Highly Critical Thinkers, JFK, and Superminds
  • October 2013 - Eavesdropping, Intelligence Amplification, and Reality Tours
  • September 2013 - Policy, Business, Law, and Evangelical Atheism
  • July 2013 - Election Forum, China, Jews and Jesus
  • June 2013 - Elections, Predictions, Spies and Shakespeare
  • May 2013 - Meta-analysis, Mapping and Democracy
  • April 2013 - Collective Knowledge, Rise of China, Intelligence, and a Puzzler
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