Module 6 Briefing Sheet / Class of 2021

Problem Solving and
Strategic Decision Making

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The focus of this Module is on learning strategies for approaching and making good decisions.  Chris Long will teach and have you apply the RAPID framework as one example of a good approach. You also will learn about what gets in the way of good decision-making and how to deal with these biases, etc.  Notice that there are many connections between this Module and Module 5, given the difficult conversations that often arise in the context of decision-making, especially when it involves strategic issues that require a creative approach.



  • Watch the video, "The Bias Trifecta" and address the Personal Reflection questions below.
  • Read “Who Has the D?” and watch the video “How Companies Can Make Better Decisions, Faster.” Both describe the RAPID decision-making process. Think about how your legal department, management team, and/or organization can use this model to improve its decision-making.
  • Recall a recent business decision that you were part of that had broad impact on others. Use the Decision-Making Diagnostic Tool (downloaded from link above) to evaluate the decision.
    • Analyze your Decision-Making ratings; what themes are you observing? Write down your thoughts and observations.
    • Be prepared to explain your ratings and discuss how the RAPID decision-making process works at your cohort meeting.
  • Read the Carter Racing case study and think about whether you would recommend racing or not racing. Why would you make that decision? (PLEASE DO NOT DISCUSS your thinking/analysis with other members of the Academy class or your cohort. We will discuss the case during our session together.)
  • Read the Rolling Stone/University of Virginia case study and familiarize yourself with the facts. (PLEASE DO NOT DISCUSS the case with other members of the Academy class or your cohort. We will provide some issues for small-group discussion during our session together.)


  • Think about what Michael Brainard says in "The Bias Trifecta" video regarding how we make decisions. Have you seen examples of biased decision-making in yourself? If so, where? Can you identify where your biases come from and how they manifest?
  • How can you use Brainard’s charge to embrace humility and discipline in your own decision-making? What about the people with whom you work? If you were to counsel them on these issues, what would you say?
  • What process or practices do you or could you engage to update your own thinking and prevent becoming less biased and less prone to being too over-confident in your decisions?
  • Think about good decisions and decision-processes that you have been a part of. What made them good or positive? Be specific. What about those processes could be transported or transferred to other decision-making contexts?
  • What factors prevent you (and others) from making good decisions?  What can you do (if anything) to remedy those factors?
  • What does the concept of RAPID as a decision-making process provide you in terms of opportunities to make better decisions? Try and understand how RAPID works.

COHORT MEETING (Meet to discuss the following BEFORE Classroom Session)

  • Check in and share any additional learning from the previous session.
  • Share your recent decision-making experience from the prework, the analyses you performed (Decision-Making Diagnostic Tool) and any particular, personal awareness or insights about RAPID.
  • Share any of your additional responses to the reflection questions.
  • Again, PLEASE DO NOT DISCUSS your thoughts on the Carter Racing or Rolling Stone/University of Virginia cases with members of the Academy class or the members of your cohort. This is important. We want to save those conversations for class.


  • Learn how decision-making approaches impact quality, speed, yield and effort.
  • Understand one's own decision-making style(s) and impact on others (inside and outside of your legal department).
  • Learn how to better get ahead of issues by setting and managing expectations with the business.
  • Learn and be able to apply the RAPID process to enhance effective strategic business decision-making.

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