Decision making is key to success

Overwhelmed? Spinning your wheels? Your business or organization depends on good, fast decisions and confident decision makers to thrive. Why do so many organizations find it hard to move forward? Here are some of the common reasons.

  • The issues are not well understood
  • There are too many alternatives
  • There are too few alternatives
  • There are multiple, conflicting goals
  • There are multiple stakeholders or decision-makers
  • The outcomes cannot be predicted because the situations are complex or new
  • The outcomes cannot be predicted because they depend on chance
  • The situation keeps changing
  • Every choice carries risk

We can help.

Get a solid start on your organization’s problems

We will customize a class for your organization. You may choose to emphasize motivational exercises, group exercises, hands-on spreadsheets, or workshops focused specifically on the tough issues you are facing at this moment. Each class is customized to the needs of the students. We teach at your facility for your convenience.

The most important part of the class is working on your problems as a group. Typically, you’ll start with some simple general examples to learn the techniques, but by the first afternoon you’ll be working on your own issues. You’ll leave the class after one day with a start on some powerful techniques, and the expertise to use them and build on them. Or dig deeper with our help in a multi-day class.

What issues are you facing? Get a group together to discover and explore the big decisions you need to make.

The Effective Decision Maker series of workshops

There is much more to being an effective decision maker than just making choices. Learn and practice the seven abilities of a great decision maker. Learn to leap over the hurdles that keep you from taking action. We offer three workshops. They are independent, each covering a different aspect of Effective Decision Making. Each is a half-day hands-on workshop. Contact us if you would like us to let you know the next time we offer them, or get a group together and we’ll come to you.

Take Charge of Your Decisions, Your Life and Your Business

Learn the seven attributes of Effective Decision Makers and gain the motivation and the skills necessary to move forward with confidence.

Chances are that those in business – whether for a Fortune 500 company, a family store or a start-up run from your garage – have to solve problems and make complex decisions on a day-to-day basis. To be successful one must be able to explore the full range of options and compare them objectively. To do this, one must be able to think both creatively and analytically.

This lively and interactive course covers the following concepts, with plenty of hands-on practice:

  • Master the seven steps of becoming an Effective Decision Maker.
  • Discover the big decisions that are often missed in day-to-day operations.
  • Think outside of the box using six thinking styles to explore all options.
  • Learn and practice quick decision techniques.
  • Determine what questions management should be asking.
  • Learn to “compare apples and oranges” (yes – you can and you must).
  • Effectively analyze multiple solutions in situations where compromise is necessary.
  • Take action in the face of uncertainty, with limited information or with conflicting goals.

The Decision Maker’s Toolkit

Avoid the roadblocks that today’s managers frequently face. Learn the most effective techniques for overcoming uncertainty and realigning conflicting goals.

Don’t have enough information? Can’t predict the future? Conflicting goals pulling you in two directions? Don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel? We enable leaders to be Effective Decision Makers in the face of uncertainty.

In this highly interactive class, students learn powerful techniques for making effective business decisions even in times of uncertainty. Students learn to make objective decisions even in the presence of conflicting goals.

Concepts covered in this class include:

  • Take charge of the situation by using the seven steps of effective decision-making.
  • Objectively balance conflicting goals and interests.
  • Use the SMART technique to merge seemingly incompatible information.
  • Make group decisions that respect conflicting priorities.
  • Learn to visualize possible future scenarios.

Excel for Decision Makers: Beyond the Dashboard

Harness the power of Microsoft® Excel to illuminate your path into the future, quickly gauge alternative solutions and accurately project the unknown. Imagine a world where you can design custom spreadsheets within minutes to answer complex business and financial questions about the future.

In just fours hours, you will learn how to use quick spreadsheets to answer questions like these and more:

  • How soon will I recover my investment?
  • When will my business break even or turn a profit?
  • How will larger payments affect my loan pay down?
  • How far will my startup capital go before I need to consider a loan or investors?

A “dashboard” view of a business provides only a static glimpse of where it stands. Like an iceberg, there is much more beneath the surface. Harnessing the power of Excel empowers leaders to look into the future, make projections and effectively make difficult business decisions.

Discover the power of using Excel interactively! In this course, we explore many techniques to capitalize on the spreadsheets you build:

  • Exploring possible futures
  • Balancing priorities
  • Asking “What if…?” questions
  • Determining the best strategy to achieve operational goals

Empowered professionals need all the facts before making business decisions. It is time to get real answers without all the pretty graphs. No previous experience is necessary. Please bring a laptop with Microsoft® Excel 97 or later installed to get the most out of this engaging, interactive class.

Free introductory talk

Decisiveness…and How to Get It, a 20-minute talk that will inspire you to be decisive and suggest tools that will help you move ahead with confidence. This talk is presented free of charge to qualified businesses and organizations in Los Angeles and Orange counties. Contact us to schedule it for your team or group.

Examples of past and current classes and workshops

Courses like these may be taught at your facility and customized to your needs. Contact us for more information.

Statistics for Six Sigma, Caltech. This one-day course is a key part of Caltech’s Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Certificate Program and Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certificate Program. Designed for students without a significant statistics background, it provides all the skills they need through relevant, hands-on exercises.

Experiential Systems Engineering, Raytheon/UCLA Extension. In this intensive eight-month course, students work in teams on realistic systems engineering problems. The full-day monthly class meetings combine review, feedback, and lively instruction in the techniques they will need for the next phase. The three instructors offer a broad and balanced view of the systems engineering discipline and are available between class meetings for questions and assistance. The students leave the class with a rich example of end-to-end systems engineering, and powerful methods for systems engineering, teamwork, and presentations.

Decision makers' workshopThe Decisive Manager, UCLA Technical Management Program. Whether designing a system or managing a project, you need to make fast, confident, and balanced decisions. You are faced with many important, and often conflicting, objectives. Trade-offs must be made at every level. This course provides several powerful techniques to help you understand and prioritize the various criteria, develop and compare alternatives, and make a smart, defensible choice. You learn analytical techniques for visualizing and comparing alternatives and possible outcomes, and the use of Monte Carlo techniques to estimate and plan for risk. You gain a clear understanding of the decision-making process through interactive demonstrations and hands-on exercises applied to realistic case studies. You leave the course with many simple yet powerful tools you can immediately apply at your workplace, along with ready-to-use spreadsheets to handle the calculations for you.

“This course was more than I expected. The material can be used right away to validate decisions or help make them.”

—Sam Cortez, Director of IT, Symantec

“This course will be very useful in my ‘day-to-day’ management activities. Several useful tools and lessons were provided.”

—Robert Dino Herrera, Director, Office of Infrastructure and Facilities Management, National Nuclear Security Administration

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