Decision Making

1. Decision Making in Teams

This module looks at how teams make decisions, for better or worse. We start by classic illustrations of truly foolish decisions by companies and by governmental bodies and detail why the decision making process was faulty. The tendency for a rush to judgment, for blindly agreeing with the majority or the leader are discussed and exemplified in a team exercise. Antidotes for these tendencies are then provided and discussed ending with a “blueprint” for how to achieve a group decision making process that tends to lead to correct or better solutions.

Audience: Most levels

2. Decision Making

In this module, various well researched judgmental “biases” are examined. Short exercises illustrate how our judgments are altered by the way in which the information is framed and by our own motivation to escalate commitment to a given course of action. A discussion and illustration of each of biases is then applied to business decisions, some of which have been disastrous. The enactment of these biases is then seen through a film which is analyzed for its pertinence to current business decision making.

Audience: Emerging Leaders and Middle Management

3. Team Decision Making: The Tradeoffs of Cohesion and Creativity

This module involves a discussion of the elements of good vs poor decision making in groups and deals specifically with the issues of cohesion and dissent. The benefits as well as problems associated with homogeneity and cohesion are illustrated by the phenomenon of groupthink well illustrated by decision making that led to the Challenger accident. Film footage is provided and discussed along with suggested antidotes to this phenomenon. The problems are further discussed in the context of the difficulty for people to voice concerns or provide alternative ideas. The value of such expressions –such “voice”– is then discussed in the context of both breaking groupthink but, more imporantly, as an impetus for generating multiple perspectives–exactly the elements that are needed for good decision making.

Audience: all levels, especially mid level management.