Module 6 Briefing Sheet
Problem Solving and
Strategic Decision Making
- HBR, “Who Has the D? How Clear Decision Roles Enhance Organizational Performance” (Paul Rogers and Marcia W. Blenko)
- Decision-Making Diagnostic Tool
- Marcia W. Blenko: “How Companies Can Make Better Decisions, Faster.” Harvard Business Publishing Video, October 2010
- Michael Brainard: “The Bias Trifecta: The Effect on Leadership Decision Making.” TEDxUCIrvine, August 2017 (link provided under terms of a Creative Commons license, BY–NC–ND 4.0 International)
- Harvard Business School Case Study: Aston-Blair, Inc. (John J. Gabarro, licensed through HBR.org) (distributed by e-mail to Fellows)
- Case Study: Carter Racing (Jack Brittain and Sim Sitkin, licensed through Delta Leadership, Inc.) (both Parts A&B; distributed by e-mail to Fellows)
- 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 (in your Materials) 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 next Cohort meeting.
- Read and analyze the Aston-Blair, Inc., case study. Advise Michael Bacon on how he should handle his current circumstances. Ascertain: What could Michael Bacon have done differently from a decision-making perspective that might have helped him avoid his present difficulties? Attempt to provide Bacon with some ideas about what he should now do (specific recommendations and action steps) to resolve the current problems he faces? Could RAPID help him? If so, how?
- 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 any members of the Academy class or your cohort. We want to save those thoughts for class.)
- 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?
- 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 Pre-work, 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.
- Feel free to discuss your approach to the Aston-Blair case.
- PLEASE DO NOT DISCUSS your thoughts on the Carter Racing case withwith any members of the Academy class or your cohort. This is important. We want to save those thoughts 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.