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Making Critical Decisions

A blueprint for avoiding common errors and arriving at sound business decisions

Studies show that half of the decisions made in organizations fail. Intelligent, responsible, well-meaning people with good information routinely make errors in judgment that can have far-reaching and sometimes devastating implications. Fortunately, studies also show that the success rate of business decisions increases by 50% when organizations implement and adhere to better decision-making processes. This course is designed to equip you with the awareness and tools to avoid common decision-making pitfalls and provides a map for making good decisions going forward. Particular attention will be paid to group decisions of the kind frequently faced in professional contexts.

Upcoming course date

Friday, October 22, 2021 from 12:30-3:00pm

Benefits of attending this online course

By the end of this seminar, you will be able to:

  • Distinguish the two systems that cognitive psychologists say drive our thinking and decision-making.
  • Identify the six most common forms of cognitive bias that interfere with decision-making, along with strategies for avoiding them.
  • Utilize a six-step decision making model to make sound, informed decisions.
  • Recognize and implement three crucial ingredients for good group decision-making in your workplace.

Making Critical Decisions content overview

This seminar explores the two systems people use for processing information and making decisions. We will draw on cognitive psychology and behavioral economics to examine common biases that get in the way of effective decision-making. We will look at the common decision errors leaders make and how to avoid them. We will also investigate the natural problems that arise when people make decisions in groups. We will address three crucial ingredients for good group decision making and examine how to aggregate individual opinions into high quality decisions. Finally, we will enact a simulation to practice exercising effective leadership decision-making.

Seminar participant reviews

“Great course. The case studies were very helpful as well as the personal experiences and anecdotes that the instructor shared. I appreciated the simulation as we were able to immediately put the lessons into practice.” – Laura Sharik

“My second course through the Executive Education program at UW, and it’s been valuable both times. Tons to learn and take back and apply directly to my current role. Many thanks to the staff and faculty that make this so useful and informative.” – Gabe Ossa

“I gained a larger perspective on decision models with more complete and up-to-date insight into cognitive biases that occur in decision making.” – Michael Thomas

Registration and Fees

Dates and fees Registration
Friday, October 22, 2021 from 12:30-3:00pm
Register now
Deadline: October 15

Program fee includes instruction and learning materials. Payment must be made by credit card or UW budget transfer. It is strongly encouraged that you register early as space is limited. See discount and cancellation policies.

Michael JohnsonMichael Johnson is an Associate Professor of Management at the Foster School of Business. He has been a member of the faculty since 2006 and is the recipient of numerous teaching awards, including, most recently, the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching in 2019. He is widely published in the fields of management and organizational behavior, and serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Applied Psychology. His current research focuses on decision-making, teamwork, emotions and stress, and social identities.
Like our in-person courses, online courses from Executive Education are designed and led by Foster School faculty and taught using the same evidence-based research and application. Students will participate in discussions, breakout sessions, and direct interactions with our faculty. Courses are conducted via Zoom, which facilitates real-time interface between students and faculty via webcam and text-based chat.

Two weeks prior to the live class session, you will receive information about any pre-readings, assignments, or case studies that need to be completed before class.

In addition to the faculty, each course has an assigned Program Manager who will provide guidance throughout the course.