One of the books I read during my vacation was "Sway" by Ori and Rom Brafman. I'd previously read "The Starfish and the Spider" which Ori co-authored with Rod Beckstrom a little more than a year ago and so I was looking forward to reading the new book.
Sway is well worth a read – it deals with how our decision making process is influenced by external factors and behavior. Two of the studies in Sway really resonated for me.
The first covers the realities of hiring people and the pitfalls of standard interview questions. Most interview questions are hopeless in really figuring out whether the candidate is a good match for the job and the case study drills this home. If you really want to get an insight into a candidate, one of the best ways I've found is to use work sampling – get the candidate to participate in generating a meaningful work product that is relevant to role you need them to play in the company. This requires a time commitment by both the company and candidate but it will give you a tremendous insight into how the person thinks, reacts and fits in with team chemistry.
The second is a very interesting discussion on how the US Supreme Court makes decisions and the criticality of a dissenting opinion to keep the process intellectually honest. Sway devotes a complete chapter to this study and its highly relevant to the decision making process within a company – both at the executive staff level and the board level.
Sway is a quick read… once you nail down the time to open the book!