How to use mental models and rules to aid effective decision making
We all have mental models – simple mechanisms of thinking and making decisions that help guide our everyday life. But we often leave these models unexamined. This is a missed opportunity.
Making decisions is a skill that can benefit from deliberate practice. But deliberate practice is hard. It requires us first to actively examine how we make decisions. It also requires us to learn from others with a track record of successful decision making. Finally it requires us to change ourselves and our embedded biases and mental models as we actively seek to improve our approach to decision making.
This session is not a ‘how to’ because that would imply that I know how to make the perfect decision. Instead this will be a tutorial from a fellow student who is actively seeking to improve and an attempt to summarize some of the best thinking on mental models from smart and wise decision makers that have come before us and might assist you in making tough decisions.
Matthew Tilleard is co-founder and co-Managing Partner of The CrossBoundary Group, an innovative investment firm that unlocks private capital for sustainable development. It employs over 80 investment professionals across offices in Nairobi, Johannesburg, Lagos, Dakar, Bamako, Washington DC, Dubai, London and New York City. CrossBoundary Advisory provides investment and economic advisory services across a range of developing countries and has also developed innovative mechanisms to attract investment in fragile states affected by conflict. CrossBoundary Energy is the first dedicated investment fund for commercial and industrial solar in Africa. It is now one of the largest distributed solar utilities in Africa with over 50MW of projects under construction or operation across Africa. CrossBoundary Energy Access is a blended finance facility backed by the Rockefeller Foundation and private investors to unlock project finance for distributed solar-storage mini-grids for the rural electrification of over 170,000 people.
Matthew began his career at The Boston Consulting Group where he focused on projects at the intersection of the private and public sector. While at BCG he co-founded ripple.org, a nonprofit website that has reached over 1.25 million people. In 2008 Matthew left BCG to become a policy advisor to Noel Pearson, a respected indigenous leader in Australia. In 2009, he moved to Kabul, Afghanistan to help establish the Afghan Investment Climate Facility (Harakat) – an innovative Afghan led $50M USD facility with a mandate to remove barriers to private sector development in Afghanistan. Matthew holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Melbourne, a Masters of Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business where he attended as a Fulbright Scholar. In 2015, he was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.
I believe that those of us who are privileged enough to be educated, healthy, and part of powerful networks should not be doing easy things. The only way to justify our privilege is to do the hard things that society demands of us — to solve tough problems and create opportunities for others. I launched The Room to bring the most ambitious ‘doers’ together to do these hard things that will change the world. I welcome you to be a part of our story and join this global community as we make history together.Fred Swaniker