INFORMS Collaborative Design.012Success in any enterprise depends on three things: leadership, strategic decision making, and execution. In the first book on professional management Peter Drucker said, “Decision making is only one of the tasks of an executive. It usually takes but a small fraction of his time. But to make decisions is the specific executive task.”

Two-thirds of the strategic decisions faced by executives focus on product planning, services, geographic expansion, or building infrastucture. These decisions involve many people: decision makers, stakeholders, and experts.

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The easiest way to improve corporate performance is to improve the process we use to make strategic decisions. If the people are right and th process is good, then the decisions will be good.

INFORMS Collaborative Design.016Over the last 40 years decision engineers have developed a virtually foolproof process for designing good strategies. The Collaborative Design process brings together the important ways of thinking about strategy: framing, systems analysis, applied probability, decision theory, and design. The process supports creativity, analysis, and synthesis.

This presentation explains how we can balance technology with what Steve Job’s called “liberal arts.”  We have technical norms: axioms and logic. We also have norms for behavior in decision making situations. The dominant norm is what Harvard researcher, Chris Argyris, called Mutual Learning.INFORMS Collaborative Design.038

This presentation explains how we can use the norms to guide us toward good strategic decisions in the face of complexity, uncertainty, and counterproductive team behaviors.

INFORMS Collaborative Design.040This is the slide deck used in a recent INFORMS presentation by Steve Barrager.