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XpertUS Decision Support Systems

A thought-provoking discussion on….


Do you know anyone who knowingly makes a “bad” decision? Probably not!

Fact: At the time I make a decision, I firmly believe I am making a good decision!
(at least from my point of view.)

So, if all decisions are “good” decisions, then why do we see so many fiascos?


Some Questions and Myths….

  • Have you ever wondered – what a good decision is?

If you think it is one that produces the desired outcome,
sadly, it is a limited definition.

  • Real-world decisions are multi-dimensional (multiple criteria, multiple candidates, and multiple decision-makers). Do you really think you can get by with common-sense and gut-feel?
  • Are your managers operating like fire-fighters? Solving problems, and then waiting to see where the next problem might be?
  • Are you using “problem-solving” techniques to make decisions? 

We stress: problem-solving is NOT decision-making!

  • Research and literature on decision-making are at two extremes: At one end we have mathematicians working on artificial intelligence, neural networks, fuzzy logic, robotics, etc.; and at the other end behavioral scientists and neurobiologists are studying human behavior and the brain. Do you know how to benefit from these advances?
  • Once you make the decision, do you validate your decision before you move to the implementation phase?
  • Are your “team decisions” victims of “Groupthink”?

As victims of groupthink, NASA paid a heavy price –
… the losses of Challenger and Columbia.
Most folk within teams – just go along to get along!

Behavioral Research Confirms….

  • Lower expectations lead to greater happiness.
  • We can be deceived by both visual and cognitive illusions.
  • When faced with many choices, people often go with the default option, or simply use gut-feel and intuition.
  • While more choices is appealing, and will lead to a better outcome, the process itself is debilitating.
  • We over-exaggerate the significance of winning or losing. Except in a few cases, happiness and sorrow are very short-term.
  • If the decision is reversible, we tend to have more negative emotions, won-dering if we made the best decision.
  • “Priming of the mind” can have serious implications on “team” decisions.

Helping people make better decisions!
Dr. Errol Wirasinghe; Shanmar Inc.
Ph: 281-587-8242;



Lalith Gunaratne
CET, Dip Mech Eng (ON)
Dip Mkt (CIM), MSc (Bath)

Who is Lalith Gunaratne

Lalith Gunaratne is an avid student of human behaviour.He is constantly seeking the answers to the Socratic question of "what makes a meaningful life?".He is a product of both the East and the West, which allows him to transcend cultures and understand the nature of people and relationships in a host of situations in both professional and personal settings.

His educational background covers diverse disciplines including Engineering, Marketing, Leadership and Responsible Business (CSR) and is complemented by his personal research and inquiry into the humanities covering religion,spirituality,
neuroscience and history.This affords him a unique perspective of the human condition and in particular how people endure in a competitive world of suffering and challenge.He celebrates the human spirit and its endeavour to overcome life's challenges and live a life of balance in the middle path. He is a proponent of the Power of Balance.

Lalith is a successful entrepreneur who brings both practical experience and a diverse worldview to the arena of organizational consulting, coaching, training, facilitation and corporate social responsibility. He pioneered a solar energy venture in the late 1980's which was subsequently soldto Shell Renewables International in 1999 and has intimate knowledge of setting-up and running a business.Read More

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