238. Paul Richards of Better Decisions: The Nine Words Every Trustee Must Know

Paul Richards is a decision making expert with a particular focus on investment manager and trustee decision-making.  He is the founder of Better Decisions, and was previously Head of Governance and Decision Research at the consulting firm Redington.  He is also the host of the Decision Nerds podcast.

Our conversation is an ambitious one, seeking to dive into the science of better decision making, what makes an effective Board process, the nature of corporate culture and its evolution and how it contributes to better outcomes. We start with Paul’s early instinct to understand things, and how things work, and how he first became interested in the emergent area of behavioral science at the beginning of his career.

Moving then to the science of decision making, Paul notes how we often try to import structures and frameworks from one context to another, which entirely ignores the subtle nature of context, the unique corporate backdrop, place in time, and the unique (and dynamic) personalities involved around the table.  We talk about nurturing conflict – the healthy kind, and how vulnerability and admitting lack of knowledge can be both disarming and empowering (c.f. the nine words that are the hardest to say but that every trustee should know).

We move then to the massive area of corporate culture and what some of the Decision Nerds podcasts have revealed in that respect and the link to better investment and corporate performance.

There is more information about Better Decisions here: https://www.better-decisions.co/ and about the Decision Nerds podcast here. https://decisionnerds.buzzsprout.com/

Series 1 of 2024 is supported by Apollo Global Management, a leading provider of alternative asset management and retirement services solutions. Apollo seeks to provide clients excess return at every point along the risk-reward spectrum and is focused on empowering retirees, building and financing stronger businesses and driving a more sustainable future.