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Game-Changer: Game Theory and the Art of Transforming Strategic Situations

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A radically new, and easily learned, way to outstrategize your rivals. "The wise win before they fight, while the ignorant fight to win." So wrote Zhuge Liang, the great Chinese military strategist. He was referring to battlefield tactics, but the same can be said about any strategic situation. Even seemingly certain defeat can be turned into victory--whether in battle, bus A radically new, and easily learned, way to outstrategize your rivals. "The wise win before they fight, while the ignorant fight to win." So wrote Zhuge Liang, the great Chinese military strategist. He was referring to battlefield tactics, but the same can be said about any strategic situation. Even seemingly certain defeat can be turned into victory--whether in battle, business, or life--by those with the strategic vision to recognize how to "change the game" to their own advantage. The aim of David McAdams's Game-Changer is nothing less than to empower you with this wisdom--not just to win in every strategic situation (or "game") you face but to change those games and the ecosystems in which they reside to transform your life and our lives together for the better. Game-Changer develops six basic ways to change games--commitment, regulation, cartelization, retaliation, trust, and relationships--enlivened by countless colorful characters and unforgettable examples from the worlds of business, medicine, finance, military history, crime, sports, and more. The book then digs into several real-world strategic challenges, such as how to keep prices low on the Internet, how to restore the public's lost trust in for-charity telemarketers, and even how to save mankind from looming and seemingly unstoppable drug-resistant disease. In each case, McAdams uses the game-theory approach developed in the book to identify the strategic crux of the problem and then leverages that "game-awareness" to brainstorm ways to change the game to solve or at least mitigate the underlying problem. So get ready for a fascinating journey. You'll emerge a deeper strategic thinker, poised to change and win all the games you play. In doing so, you can also make the world a better place. "Just one Game-Changer [is] enough to seed and transform an entire organization into a more productive, happier, and altogether better place," McAdams writes. Just imagine what we can do together.


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A radically new, and easily learned, way to outstrategize your rivals. "The wise win before they fight, while the ignorant fight to win." So wrote Zhuge Liang, the great Chinese military strategist. He was referring to battlefield tactics, but the same can be said about any strategic situation. Even seemingly certain defeat can be turned into victory--whether in battle, bus A radically new, and easily learned, way to outstrategize your rivals. "The wise win before they fight, while the ignorant fight to win." So wrote Zhuge Liang, the great Chinese military strategist. He was referring to battlefield tactics, but the same can be said about any strategic situation. Even seemingly certain defeat can be turned into victory--whether in battle, business, or life--by those with the strategic vision to recognize how to "change the game" to their own advantage. The aim of David McAdams's Game-Changer is nothing less than to empower you with this wisdom--not just to win in every strategic situation (or "game") you face but to change those games and the ecosystems in which they reside to transform your life and our lives together for the better. Game-Changer develops six basic ways to change games--commitment, regulation, cartelization, retaliation, trust, and relationships--enlivened by countless colorful characters and unforgettable examples from the worlds of business, medicine, finance, military history, crime, sports, and more. The book then digs into several real-world strategic challenges, such as how to keep prices low on the Internet, how to restore the public's lost trust in for-charity telemarketers, and even how to save mankind from looming and seemingly unstoppable drug-resistant disease. In each case, McAdams uses the game-theory approach developed in the book to identify the strategic crux of the problem and then leverages that "game-awareness" to brainstorm ways to change the game to solve or at least mitigate the underlying problem. So get ready for a fascinating journey. You'll emerge a deeper strategic thinker, poised to change and win all the games you play. In doing so, you can also make the world a better place. "Just one Game-Changer [is] enough to seed and transform an entire organization into a more productive, happier, and altogether better place," McAdams writes. Just imagine what we can do together.

30 review for Game-Changer: Game Theory and the Art of Transforming Strategic Situations

  1. 4 out of 5

    Quinn

    Wish McAdams would've dug further into the actual theory behind this field of study, rather than providing numerous concrete, overly-specific examples as a way of explaining it all. Overall, I didn't take much away from McAdams' approach to authoring this book -- guess I should have just signed up for a class during college. Wish McAdams would've dug further into the actual theory behind this field of study, rather than providing numerous concrete, overly-specific examples as a way of explaining it all. Overall, I didn't take much away from McAdams' approach to authoring this book -- guess I should have just signed up for a class during college.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Science For The People

    Featured on Science for the People show #276 on August 1, 2014, during an interview with author David McAdams. http://www.scienceforthepeople.ca/epi... Featured on Science for the People show #276 on August 1, 2014, during an interview with author David McAdams. http://www.scienceforthepeople.ca/epi...

  3. 4 out of 5

    Tara Nichol

    Great book. Lover of game theory now.

  4. 4 out of 5

    С. Р.

    Не внимавах много докато я слушах, но на места беше доста интересна. Теория на игрите е някакъв вид икономическо мислене, на който е интересно човек да се научи да мисли. За сега знам че съществува и понеже книгата е кратка след време бих я изслушал пак. Струва ми се обаче, че теория на игрите е добре да я знаят политици и учители, такива които ще напасват стимулите, ограниченията и фийдбекмеханизмите на играта, а не толкова самите играчи. Т. Е. Самите играчи трябва да знаят каква игра се играе в Не внимавах много докато я слушах, но на места беше доста интересна. Теория на игрите е някакъв вид икономическо мислене, на който е интересно човек да се научи да мисли. За сега знам че съществува и понеже книгата е кратка след време бих я изслушал пак. Струва ми се обаче, че теория на игрите е добре да я знаят политици и учители, такива които ще напасват стимулите, ограниченията и фийдбекмеханизмите на играта, а не толкова самите играчи. Т. Е. Самите играчи трябва да знаят каква игра се играе в момента, да знаят истинските правила и да играят по тях. Абе не знам. Не знам достатъчно за да коментирам. Мислех да сложа 3 звезди, но книгата не е виновна. Даже и гласа е як - главът на историята на цивилизацията. Просто не беше подходящия момент. Точно за това човек преди да тръгне да пише книга трябва да (1) провери дали случайно не е Томъс Соуел, и ако не е да се опита да напише ВЪЗМОЖНО НАЙ-КРАТКА КНИГА. Хората, освен Тонъс Соуел трябва да пишат кратки книги, за да може човек да ги препрочита и преслушва пак и пак. За Томъс Соуел дължината на книгата не корелира с броят предпочитания вече спрях да броя колко пъти съм му преслушвал различни части и дори цели книги отново и отново. Но за остабалите ПИШЕТЕ КРАТКИ КНИГИ или поне правете кратка ъбридж аудиоверсия ОСВЕН пълната версия която да става за бързо преслушване. Пикасо го е казал - Перфектността идва не когато няма какво повече да добавиш, а когато няма какво повече да отнемеш. В това отношение тази к ига е почти добре, не е перфектна, можешеш да е МНОГО по-кратка, но 7 часа или по моя часовник 3 часа и половина ;) (*2 скорост за аудиокнигите е най-доброто изобретение след тока и аудиокнигите)

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sabin Prodan

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Teoria jocului este un concept despre care am tot auzit si de ceva timp am ajuns sa imi doresc sa citesc ceva pe acest subiect. "Jucatorul ingenios:teoria jocurilor si arta transformarii situatilor strategice" este prima carte pe aceasta tema si nu pot spune ca am avut mari asteptari, insa una din notele de subsol din prima parte care explica decizia traducatorului a traduce "game changer" prin "jucator ingenios", mi-a scazut entuziasmul, iar pe parcursul cartii am devenit destul de nerabdator sa Teoria jocului este un concept despre care am tot auzit si de ceva timp am ajuns sa imi doresc sa citesc ceva pe acest subiect. "Jucatorul ingenios:teoria jocurilor si arta transformarii situatilor strategice" este prima carte pe aceasta tema si nu pot spune ca am avut mari asteptari, insa una din notele de subsol din prima parte care explica decizia traducatorului a traduce "game changer" prin "jucator ingenios", mi-a scazut entuziasmul, iar pe parcursul cartii am devenit destul de nerabdator sa o termin, si nu din cauza suspansului. Pe langa traducerea care pe alocuri lasa de dorit, mai mult din cauza incompatibilitatii vocabularului romanesc cu cel englez decat din cauza traducatorului, consider ca aceasta carte putea fi considerabil redusa in dimensiune. Prima parte a cartii prezinta "Dilema Arestatului" si, cu exceptia unui mic fragment despre Tit-for-Tat, intregul continut se invarte in jurul acestui concept, inclusiv a doua parte care prezinta cateva studii de caz despre cum "Dilema Arestatului" a fost sau ar putea fi aplicata, prezentate uneori intr-un mod destul de subiectiv sau superficial. Fara indoiala este o carte utila si apreciez intentia autorului de a prezenta, poate, esentialul Teroiei Jocurilor, doar ca textul devine putin redundant o data ce ai inteles ideea de baza. Un titlu mai bun ar fi fost "Dilema Arestatului. Definitie si studii de caz"

  6. 5 out of 5

    Marie Stein

    It’s interesting to revisit the recommendations provided in this book for complex social and environmental problems to see how they’ve been modified and implemented in the few years since this book was published. Some people treat their lives, relationships, careers like it’s all a big game. The author suggests The “Tit-for-Tat” strategy - quick to trust, quick to punish, quick to forgive - is the best all-around approach to success in a gamed world (assuming alternatives to Prisoners Dilemma are It’s interesting to revisit the recommendations provided in this book for complex social and environmental problems to see how they’ve been modified and implemented in the few years since this book was published. Some people treat their lives, relationships, careers like it’s all a big game. The author suggests The “Tit-for-Tat” strategy - quick to trust, quick to punish, quick to forgive - is the best all-around approach to success in a gamed world (assuming alternatives to Prisoners Dilemma are not available). But it would seem the true challenge is in the framing of the problem, where we have incomplete information and often make irrational or impulsive decisions, isn’t it?

  7. 4 out of 5

    Helfren Filex

    Diamonds aren't forever anymore. The game changer of economic crises foresaw the use of Game Theory in the use of Prisoner Dilemma during the Rockefeller Era. The luxury of diamond changes throughout the ages as the paper-money takes over the market. The use of the theory in complicated ways really help us to understand the modern world problem in the market. Diamonds aren't forever anymore. The game changer of economic crises foresaw the use of Game Theory in the use of Prisoner Dilemma during the Rockefeller Era. The luxury of diamond changes throughout the ages as the paper-money takes over the market. The use of the theory in complicated ways really help us to understand the modern world problem in the market.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Bruno Rio

    Had some high hopes on the book. Quite interesting intro but the author totally misses it. Dull development and the ending is just an exercise to "kind" of apply game theory to specific examples that seem just odd. Skip it. Had some high hopes on the book. Quite interesting intro but the author totally misses it. Dull development and the ending is just an exercise to "kind" of apply game theory to specific examples that seem just odd. Skip it.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Nate Even

    Part One is very good, Part Two "The Game Changer Files" are just okay, gets a little long winded. Part One is very good, Part Two "The Game Changer Files" are just okay, gets a little long winded.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ant

    I enjoyed this book. It's quite buiness oriented rather than pure maths, but it does give a nice mix between application in the wild and theory. This is a topic that everyone should level up. I enjoyed this book. It's quite buiness oriented rather than pure maths, but it does give a nice mix between application in the wild and theory. This is a topic that everyone should level up.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Gerald

    Was a book entry level to game theory. covered the concepts well, doesnt go into great details in most.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jake

    The best book I've read on game theory. The best book I've read on game theory.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Camilo Zuluaga Borda

    Tomar decisiones en base al valor esperado y a la teoria de juegos.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Nathalie Karasek

    Nice introduction with an example for each game and strategy which makes it easier to remember them

  15. 5 out of 5

    Robert Pragai

    Quick read with tangible examples. Allows the user to start recognizing game theory around them.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Soundview Executive Book Summaries

    Game-Changer: Game Theory and the Art of Transforming Strategic Situations by David McAdams was chosen by Soundview Executive Book Summaries as one of the Top 30 Business Books of 2015. THE SOUNDVIEW REVIEW: People and businesses are constantly playing games in order to win advantage in everything from gaining customers to controlling market share. However, if they are not careful, they may end up strategically out-played. Duke economics professor David McAdams transforms the concept of game theor Game-Changer: Game Theory and the Art of Transforming Strategic Situations by David McAdams was chosen by Soundview Executive Book Summaries as one of the Top 30 Business Books of 2015. THE SOUNDVIEW REVIEW: People and businesses are constantly playing games in order to win advantage in everything from gaining customers to controlling market share. However, if they are not careful, they may end up strategically out-played. Duke economics professor David McAdams transforms the concept of game theory to introduce what he calls the “game-theory approach to life.” McAdams presents the benefits of using game theory to plot business tactics and gain insights, in Game-Changer. This book is now available as a Soundview Executive Book Summary. “Game theory realizes its greatest business potential when leaders of a firm create the culture and organizational structures needed for everyone to thrive together. A game-aware management team can transform everything from how employees are motivated to how buyer and supplier relationships are nurtured, and much more. When used with wisdom and humility, game theory can be a powerful and positive transformative force,” writes McAdams. Outstrategize your rivals with McAdams’ six ways to change games: commitment, regulation, cartelization, retaliation, trust and relationships. He also introduces the idea of The Prisoners’ Dilemma. This dilemma presents the situation of two criminals that face the choice whether to confess or not, separately. Although confessing seems like the right choice, it will be the worst for both. McAdams explains how to recognize situations you are in to illustrate that self-interest is not always the best strategy. By practicing game-awareness you will be able to recognize how to “change the game” to your advantage by learning to be a deeper strategic thinker. By being a deeper strategic thinker, you will increase the odds of winning all the games you play. Soundview's 8-page Executive Book Summary of Game-Changer is available here.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Stuart

    Not a very exhaustive view of game theory nor it's use as a way to use it for strategic thinking. Basically it's think of things as the prisoner's dilemma or some variation of it and use one of several "solutions". The real downfall is the hypothetical solutions to real world problems. And part of that is that because there is such promise with the premise, use the material from the first half of the book to solve real world problems. Disappointing is that the solutions are just hypothetical and Not a very exhaustive view of game theory nor it's use as a way to use it for strategic thinking. Basically it's think of things as the prisoner's dilemma or some variation of it and use one of several "solutions". The real downfall is the hypothetical solutions to real world problems. And part of that is that because there is such promise with the premise, use the material from the first half of the book to solve real world problems. Disappointing is that the solutions are just hypothetical and never put to real world problems or even attempted. Had the author shown us some situations even smaller problems or partial problems where the material discussed was used or partially used then it would give much more credence to his arguments and make for a much better read. The other major flaw is the generic nature of the material. Again this would be a benefit if handled differently. The author gives general principle of the material i.e. such and such problem is really a variation of a classic prisoners dilemma and if you look at it like that then here's the solution as you'd see by looking at it using game theory. This might work better if the reader was presumed to know more of game theory so that getting from seeing the problem as a form of a prisoner's dilemma and then to see the steps to the solution. However the material is presented as for someone not familiar with game theory thus the steps to see a problem as a derivative of a prisoners dilemma and the steps to seeing the solution are not intuitive nor are they explained fully. For someone with no knowledge of game theory I could see this as a major frustration. Overall this gets a D. Concept is good though a bit shaky, execution leaves a bit to be desired.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Todd

    Two and a half stars, actually. This book started off well, and for the first half I was interested. I like game theory and did learn more about the basic Prisoner's Dilemma and its applications in our everyday lives. This may be too basic for some, but I'm just getting my feet wet in this area. My issue is with the second half of the book, in which McAdams goes in-depth on several issues -- trust in online shopping, bacteria's resistance to antibiotics, drug addicts in the emergency room, and ot Two and a half stars, actually. This book started off well, and for the first half I was interested. I like game theory and did learn more about the basic Prisoner's Dilemma and its applications in our everyday lives. This may be too basic for some, but I'm just getting my feet wet in this area. My issue is with the second half of the book, in which McAdams goes in-depth on several issues -- trust in online shopping, bacteria's resistance to antibiotics, drug addicts in the emergency room, and others -- but doesn't offer a game theory-based recommendation on how to approach each one. We're left with more information than we ever wanted to know about these topics without a resolution that fits the book's premise. McAdams attempts to address this in his epilogue, stating that his recommendations "would not have been worth much". The problem is, that's where we expect the book to go, and we're left hanging. So three stars for the first half and two for the second. I'll keep reading about game theory, though -- this didn't turn me off completely!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Trever

    This was really debatable going between 4 and 5 stars, so I settled on the lower of the two since it says it uses game theory and only covers the prisoners dilemma. Even though it covers the prisoners dilemma fully and shows you can use it in a variety of circumstances. I did an awesome job of using game theory just the other day in a board game called resistance, which is incredibly fun if you have never played it. Won the game all three times employing game theory. Well written book, maybe I sho This was really debatable going between 4 and 5 stars, so I settled on the lower of the two since it says it uses game theory and only covers the prisoners dilemma. Even though it covers the prisoners dilemma fully and shows you can use it in a variety of circumstances. I did an awesome job of using game theory just the other day in a board game called resistance, which is incredibly fun if you have never played it. Won the game all three times employing game theory. Well written book, maybe I should change it to 5... I don't know.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kyle Anderson

    Another article or series of articles padded out into a book. The author makes generally anecdotal references to game theory and how to apply it. There are very little real insights or advice. The second half of the book is the author making unsolicited suggestions to big companies. Likely in an attempt to further a consulting career. Would be more interesting if you'd never come across game theory or the prisoners dilemma before. Another article or series of articles padded out into a book. The author makes generally anecdotal references to game theory and how to apply it. There are very little real insights or advice. The second half of the book is the author making unsolicited suggestions to big companies. Likely in an attempt to further a consulting career. Would be more interesting if you'd never come across game theory or the prisoners dilemma before.

  21. 5 out of 5

    David

    Great book on game theory. Well written and organized with intuitive real life examples. Five way to break out of prisoner's dilemma. 1. change pay offs (Regulation) 2. merge (Cartelization) 3. dynamic move (Retaliation) 4. commit to move (Promise) 5. repeat (Relationship) Key concepts include, move timing, strategic evolution, Nash/roll back/commitment Equilibrium, MAD and tit-for-tat. Great book on game theory. Well written and organized with intuitive real life examples. Five way to break out of prisoner's dilemma. 1. change pay offs (Regulation) 2. merge (Cartelization) 3. dynamic move (Retaliation) 4. commit to move (Promise) 5. repeat (Relationship) Key concepts include, move timing, strategic evolution, Nash/roll back/commitment Equilibrium, MAD and tit-for-tat.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Wikstrom

    I listened to this as an audiobook. I might bump my rating closer to a 4 if I read it. I think that in general, it was interesting and opened my mind to the idea of game theory. I don't know that it gave me enough solid tools to really implement the ideas. I listened to this as an audiobook. I might bump my rating closer to a 4 if I read it. I think that in general, it was interesting and opened my mind to the idea of game theory. I don't know that it gave me enough solid tools to really implement the ideas.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ben

    Pretty good introduction to game theory told using understandable concepts and real-world examples. It gets a bit repetitive as it goes on though, focusing too much on the classic Prisoner's Dilemma. Pretty good introduction to game theory told using understandable concepts and real-world examples. It gets a bit repetitive as it goes on though, focusing too much on the classic Prisoner's Dilemma.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Laurentiu Ghenciu

    extremely boring

  25. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Palevski

    easy to read intro to game theory concepts, with some well-selected real-life examples. I could imagine this would be a helpful textbook of sorts for any game theory course.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Chuck Hitt

    great examples

  27. 4 out of 5

    Marcelle

    Wonderful introduction to game theory with practical examples of how it can be applied to many areas of life, not just business.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Iulia

  29. 5 out of 5

    Helena Erika

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Peters

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