Decision-Making 101

Decision Making 101

What do we mean by decision-making?


It’d be reassuring to think that we’re always able to make rational decisions. That we always have the perfect blend of experience and information to hand.

But life isn’t like that. One of modern life’s ironies is that we have access to more information than ever before, but it’s just not always the information we need. As psychologist Barry Schwartz reminds us, the dizzying array of choices often available can be a recipe for anxiety or wasted time, rather than a shortcut to success. When it comes to decision-making, it seems that the only thing we really know is that we can’t predict the future.


There are things we dont know we dont know

Donald Rumsfeld

More information about the course

4 weeks
15 hours
100% virtual
20++ (scalable)


Developing the basics of great decision-making


In this 101 Mission we’ll focus on how to:

•  Navigate ambiguity as a core leadership skill we all need to develop.
•  Recognise what gets in the way when we make decisions.
•  Manage the uncertainty, risk and doubt we’ll inevitably face.
•  Balance knowledge and intuition and make the most of the data available to us.
•  Overcome indecision, prevarication or perfectionism to make the best possible decisions our circumstances allow.
•  See decision-making as a creative process, using a range of tools and techniques to help us to identify and solve problems.


Mission overview — what will you learn?

Part 1: Navigating Uncertainty  
Part 2: Problem-Solving
Part 3: Using (and Abusing) Big Data
Part 4: Ethical Considerations 


Models referenced:

Cynefin Model
Cognitive diversity
Virtue ethics
Cognitive biases


Decision-Making 101 – example experiential events

Gamification (multiplayer simulation): Strategic Decisions

As used by Google and MI6, this challenging interactive simulation is played online in teams of three. Your goal? Easy, set up a new copper mining operation in the Amazon rainforest. It’s an intense but risk-free experience that helps simulate having to make difficult strategic decisions under time pressure. It also gets you thinking about how you typically make decisions and communicate them to your team and others.


Learning outcomes — through this event you’ll:
  • Gain a deeper understanding of how to practically make strategic decisions and balance various competing agendas, e.g. sustainability vs profit, or PR vs efficiency. 

  • Better understand your own personal approach to difficult decisions. 

  • Learn how stakeholder influence maps affect difficult decisions.

Gamification (multiplayer simulation): Navigating Change 

This simulation presents participants, typically organised in teams, with a challenging mission to optimise a post-merger integration plan. It is an intense but risk-free experience that will help them develop skills in a range of areas, including leading and implementing change, influencing, communication strategies, (virtual) teamwork and decision-making in ambiguous and complex scenarios.


Learning outcomes — through this event you’ll:
  • Be able to craft a change management strategy.

  • Overcome resistance to change.

  • Develop detailed stakeholder analyses.

  • Analyse the full range of human interests and motives.

  • Map and use influence networks.

  • Balance economic and human value drivers.

  • Maximise the value of business change.

Critical Thinking - Interactive Masterclass

Delivered by Dr Brennan Jacoby this session explores what it takes to make sound strategic decisions and how we can retain objectivity under pressure. Together, we’ll explore what can be done to free up the cognitive bandwidth needed to make wise decisions at pace and cover a 4-step process for making strategic decisions. We’ll also look at the supporting skill of critical thinking to bolster our problem-solving and help sort fact from fiction.


Learning outcomes — through this event you’ll:
  • Understand the personal preferences influencing your decisions. 

  • Learn the 4-step process for strategic decision-making. 

  • Acquire the tools for inviting others into strategic decisions. 

  • Study critical thinking and how it affects day-to-day work. 

  • Learn the 3-step approach for evaluating thought processes.  

  • Learn practical tools for spotting assumptions, biases and other common reasoning pitfalls. 

Find out more information about our courses, download our brochure or book a call with our team.

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Aanglo American

The Transformational Leadership Programme is 100% virtual and global – a significant attraction for a company with people across the world

Roger Minton, Head of Leadership Development, Anglo American 

Related 101 Missions

Business acumen and curiosity 101
Difficult Conversations 101
Effective Feedback 101


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