MISSION AND GOALS
This highly interactive course has two main goals: (i) make you discover what are the behavioural traps in strategic decision-making processes (i.e. those systematic cognitive and motivational mistakes we all make when confronted with complex decisions) and (ii) provide you with the analytical solutions to improve the decision making process.
SUBJECT AND PROGRAMME OF THE COURSE
Strategic decisions are a common denominator to many domains, e.g. public policy making, territorial planning, project management, operational research, sustainability assessments, management science, to name the most relevant ones.
But how to choose in tough situations characterised by the presence of multiple and often conflicting objectives, different stakeholders, intangible elements and high degrees of uncertainty? What are the common ‘decision traps’ we fall into? How can we create options that are better than the ones originally available? How can we avoid decision traps and become better decision makers?
This course will enhance your ability to integrate hard data with judgements and develop winning strategies by teaching you how to:
– frame strategic decision-making problems and processes;
– properly structure the problem taking into account the degree of uncertainty, the presence of multiple heterogeneous objectives as well as stakeholders;
– consider the multiple consequences (benefits, costs and risks) of your alternative strategies;
– balance conflicting strategic objectives;
– develop winning and robust strategies.
For each decision pillar, you are going to learn:
• what are the behavioural traps that prevent smart decisions to be made;
• how to effectively and efficiently develop winning solutions.
The main course outcomes will consist in: actionable decision frameworks, awareness about decision traps and how to overcome them and insights from extensive experience in supporting complex real world strategic decisions.
The course will combine experiential lessons with theory and experiments (morning sessions) and group work (afternoon sessions) where students will role-play with decision problems in their research domains and apply the course’s tools to discover effective solutions to the key traps associated with strategic decision-making.
Teaching materials include behavioural simulations in class, as well as illustrations of real-world decision analytics applications in public policy and management contexts. Every day a classic paper in the field will be provided, which sets the foundation for the content covered. Additional readings will be available electronically at the end of the course, for those who want to extend their knowledge about the subject.