Critical Thinking: the art and Science of Effective Problem Solving

Available dates

Aug 20, 2020
San Francisco, California, United States
USD 475
USD 475 per day


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About the course

Leaders hear 'yes' far too often. They don't hear bad news until it's too late. It's an enormous problem for leaders, for teams, for the entire organization. But is it inevitable? Absolutely not. In this workshop, Professor Michael Roberto shows you how to stimulate dissent and debate to improve your decision making; he also shows how to keep that conflict constructive. Of course, conflict alone does not produce better decisions and improved results. Leaders need to cultivate debate and simultaneously build consensus. Through fascinating examples from history, including the Bay of Pigs, Cuban Missile Crisis, and the tragedy on Mount Everest, the workshop will explore each of the following: the five myths of executive decision making; how to foster open debate that actually builds long-term consensus; how to achieve "diversity in counsel, unity in command"; how to move to closure: overcoming the inability to decide; avoiding "analysis paralysis" and other pitfalls; how to gain the whole-hearted commitment to act; and how to address hidden doubts that could undermine your final decision. Whether you're a senior executive or a project team member, this workshop will help you leverage your team's immense untapped wisdom to make better decisions—and get better results.

Time Allocation - Topics

33% Building and Leading a Team Case Study: The 1996 Mount Everest Tragedy

Critical lessons regarding leadership style, common decision-making errors, team design, and the importance of developing a climate where people feel comfortable expressing dissenting views.

33% Designing an Effective Decision-Making Process Case Study: Bay of Pigs and Cuban Missile Crisis.

Through the study of these two classic decisions by President Kennedy, we compare and contrast how these two teams managed conflict more vs. less effectively. It also provides an interesting contrast in the leadership approach that Kennedy took in the failed decision vs. the later successful one. Specifically, he learned a great deal from the failure, and adapted his leadership style and his decision-making process in several critical ways in the latter case.

34% Fostering Innovative Decision-Making Case Study: IDEO

IDEO is one of the world’s leading product design firms. How has this firm consistently designed innovative, market leading products for companies in a wide variety of industries? What are the critical components of their highly creative, yet disciplined process for innovation and new product development? This case study allows us to examine how leaders at IDEO foster creativity and innovation, and build and lead high-performing teams. It also helps us understand the ways in which the leaders at IDEO have created a culture that encourages and stimulates innovation, which enables IDEO to sustain competitive advantage over time in a dynamic industry.


Primary -- LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT: Communication, Creativeness, Decisiveness, Interpersonal Relations, Judgment

Secondary -- PLANNING/ORGANIZING: Problem Identification, Selecting and Organizing Information, Analysis, Evaluating Alternative Solutions

Tertiary -- EXECUTING/CONTROLLING/EVALUATING: Coordination, Decision Making, Follow Up, Results Analysis

Trust the experts

Jackson Nickerson

Area of Expertise: Business And Government, Business/Corporate Strategy, Law and Economics, Critical Thinking, Managerial Assessment, Innovation and Growth, Organizational Design, Business And Government, Business/Corporate Strategy, Critical Thinking, Innovation and Growth, Law and Economics,...


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