Cart:

Now in your cart0 items
 

 
Bookmark and Share

Decision-Making and Problem-Solving for Business


Call (949) 477-2000 Option 1 to schedule a class

PS_BUS Course Description

Course Fee: $320.00

Decision-Making and Problem-Solving for Business

Target Audience
Executives, managers, supervisors, team leaders, and other business professionals who want to enhance their ability to solve business problems and make effective personal and organizational decisions

Expected Duration
16.5

Module 1 - The Fundamentals of Effective Thinking

Albert Einstein once remarked that "the significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them." It necessarily follows that you must raise your own level of thinking in order to solve pressing business problems and make effective decisions. In this course, you'll explore how to think about the most critical business skill of all--thinking itself. You'll first learn about the counterproductive thinking patterns and tendencies most people naturally fall prey to. You'll then discover how these largely intuitive tendencies manifest themselves in problem-solving mind-sets and decision-making styles. Finally, you'll take the necessary steps to neutralize ineffective thinking habits and instead practice dynamic and results-oriented thinking strategies. The result? You'll become a better thinker, someone who can apply these new-found techniques to achieve organizational goals within the current climate of great institutional change.

The Fundamentals of Effective Thinking

  • recognize benefits of avoiding counterproductive mental shortcuts.
  • identify mental rules of thumb and their descriptions.
  • match thinking traps that affect problem solving and decision making with their corresponding descriptions.
  • analyze the effectiveness of strategies used to productively think through a problem-solving scenario.
  • recognize benefits of minimizing biases and false assumptions when solving problems and making decisions.
  • analyze the effectiveness of strategies used to determine the correlation among variables in a problem-solving scenario.
  • identify valid statements about the different types of correlation.
  • select correct descriptions of attribution-making biases.
  • identify correct descriptions of biases that distort thinking.
  • analyze the effectiveness of techniques used to overcome bias in a business problem-solving scenario.
  • recognize benefits of adopting an effective problem-solving mind-set and decision-making style.
  • match problem-solving mind-sets with their corresponding descriptions.
  • match types of decision makers with corresponding statements.
  • recognize the value of using effective thinking techniques.
  • apply techniques to think critically in a given scenario.
  • select correct descriptions of memory devices.
  • select statements that describe effective thinking habits.

Module 2 - Problem Framer

When you frame a picture, you intend for the viewer to examine everything within that border. Problem framing is similar in that you must not only consider what objectively makes up the problem itself but also what subjective tendencies influence your view of the situation. This course is designed to help you effectively frame problems so that you're sure your line of sight is aimed straight toward the solution. You'll discover how to recognize and gather information about a problem so that all contingencies are accounted for and all subtleties considered. You'll learn how to uncover the various assumptions, both conscious and unconscious, that are typically made about problems. After identifying these assumptions, you'll be able to tell the productive ones from the nonproductive. You'll also explore specific strategies for getting to the heart of any problem and learn dynamic techniques for framing that problem so that success is greatly enhanced. In the end, your ability to frame problems will be museum-quality.

Problem Framing

  • recognize the value of effectively identifying and gathering information about a problem.
  • specify techniques to identify a business problem.
  • identify valid sources of information about business problems.
  • apply techniques to assess the expertise of a subject-matter expert in a business scenario.
  • recognize benefits of fully examining assumptions about a given problem.
  • select strategies to validate assumptions about a given problem.
  • analyze the effectiveness of a team whose goal is to uncover problem assumptions in a business scenario.
  • match constraints that affect assumptions about objectives with their corresponding descriptions.
  • recognize the value of addressing the root problem instead of peripheral issues.
  • select sorting techniques to identify the root causes of business problems.
  • analyze the appropriate use of a causal flow analysis to determine the root causes of a business problem.
  • recognize benefits of incorporating dynamic problem-framing techniques into everyday business life.
  • identify the steps of constructing a fishbone diagram.
  • analyze the effectiveness of a group using a deviation analysis to effectively frame a given business problem.
  • analyze the effective use of the problem-redefinition technique to effectively frame a business problem scenario.

Module 3 - Problem Solving: Generating Alternatives

When faced with any problem, it's tempting, especially in today's frenzied business atmosphere, to either take the easiest route or rely on the old tried-and-true methods. But how many times have you taken a certain action and realized afterward that you had more options than you realized? Now more than ever, today's business world is complex and multifaceted. As a positive result of that complexity, however, you can enjoy the benefits of increased opportunities in problem solving. This course is designed to equip you with numerous and productive alternative generation strategies that will enable you to draw from a pool of expanded options. By so doing, you'll better recognize and act on the best possible business choice. You'll explore ways to begin generating alternatives and get into the flow of enlarging your store of possible solutions. Using both rational and creative approaches to problem solving, you'll be sure that no good idea is left unnoticed. And even when you get stuck, when that rut becomes tiresomely deep, you'll be able to right your course by using the dynamic strategies provided here. Options and alternatives are valuable commodities to possess. Get ready to take them to the bank.

Problem Solving: Generating Alternatives

  • recognize benefits of getting into a creative mind-set before generating alternatives for problems.
  • select attitudes for achieving an effective state of mind for the generation of alternatives.
  • select principles of productive brainstorming.
  • recognize benefits of using rational approaches to problem solving.
  • analyze business scenarios to determine if team members successfully applied the BEST model for generating alternatives for problem solving.
  • sequence the steps to the BEST model for generating alternatives for problem solving.
  • identify ways to think of a company from the customer's viewpoint.
  • recognize benefits of using creative approaches to generating alternatives.
  • analyze a business scenario for the effective use of analogies to generate alternatives.
  • apply idea nets to generate alternative solutions for a given business problem.
  • identify steps to make an effective mind-map.
  • recognize the value of using effective strategies to successfully move past roadblocks.
  • identify components of creative visualization.
  • select correct descriptions of strategies for overcoming the distress of ineffective problem solving.

Module 4 - Making Decisions Dynamically

Your decisions determine your life. Nowhere is this simple statement so unabashedly evident as in today's business world. Made consciously or unconsciously, your decisions represent the fundamental tool you use in facing the opportunities, challenges, and uncertainties of life. It's not a case, however, of "make a decision, any decision." The increased complexity and competition of the 21st century marketplace calls for dynamic decision making--the kind of decision making that significantly boosts productivity. The objective of this course is to turn you and others in your organization into dynamic decision makers. You'll gain the skills necessary to avoid the psychological pitfalls that adversely affect decision making. You'll hone your decision-making ability in risky and uncertain circumstances. You'll walk away from this course with concrete and powerful decision-making tools, both rational and statistical. When you use the decision-modeling techniques presented here, you'll enjoy enhanced accuracy and, hence, business confidence. Then, with these strategies in hand, you'll explore ways to better make decisions even when you're working with others who aren't completely "on your side." It's true that decisions determine your life. It's time now to better determine your decisions.

Making Decisions Dynamically

  • recognize the value of understanding the factors that influence decision making.
  • select descriptions of sound decision-making principles.
  • match decision-making styles to their corresponding descriptions.
  • recognize benefits of skillfully using decision-making techniques.
  • analyze the effectiveness of a PMI analysis used to evaluate a business decision.
  • analyze the effectiveness of an ease-and-effect matrix used to prioritize potential business decisions.
  • analyze the effectiveness of a team using the nominal group technique to make a business decision.
  • identify steps of using a return-on-investment measure to evaluate a business decision.
  • analyze the effectiveness of a devil's advocacy technique used to evaluate a proposed business decision.
  • recognize benefits of effectively discussing potential business decisions with uneasy or competitive parties.
  • identify effective strategies for making compromises and managing trade-offs.
  • apply techniques to conduct a genuine dialogue about a business decision with another party.

Module 5 - Decision Making: Implementation and Evaluation

You've made your decision after careful and considered thought. The deal is done, right? Not really. Your decision, no matter how considered and creative, won't walk out on its own two legs and implement itself. It's time to nurture your decided course of action and then evaluate its effectiveness. This course will help you do just that. And you'll do it in a way that will better ensure the success of your present decision and those decisions yet to come. After all, no decision is an island: You need to build on past achievements as well as learn from previous mistakes. In this course, you'll first explore how to act on your decision in a way that optimizes its chances for acceptance and success. Once your plan is underway, you'll also know how to manage that decision so that your effective results don't wither on the vine. Lastly, you'll find out how to evaluate the soundness of your decision so that related business methods can be refined and enhanced in the future. By establishing this feedback loop for success, you'll better reach your goals, reduce wasted time and money, and avoid much worry and regret.

Decision Making: Implementation and Evaluation

  • identify benefits of effective implementation planning.
  • identify three basic implementation strategies.
  • analyze the use of a force-field analysis within a given business scenario.
  • identify the steps to create a force-field analysis.
  • analyze the effectiveness of a grass-roots analysis diagram used in a business scenario.
  • identify the steps to constructing a grass-roots analysis diagram.
  • recognize the value of successfully managing the implementation of a business decision.
  • analyze the effectiveness of strategies applied to involve stakeholders in the implementation of a business decision.
  • identify valid strategies for effectively coping with adjustments during decision implementation.
  • apply strategies to manage resistance to a business decision.
  • recognize benefits of constantly evaluating business decisions.
  • identify ways to assess a decision outcome.
  • analyze the effectiveness of strategies used in a business scenario to evaluate a decision outcome.
  • select effective strategies for addressing a failed decision.

Module 6 - Group Problem Solving and Decision Making

To be in business means to be on a team. Every team, even if its an informal group, convenes for one purpose--to solve problems and make decisions. In today's business world, effective business groups and teams are a key ingredient in success. By skillfully overcoming problems and making productive decisions, you'll turn your group into a community of success. In this course, you'll learn the skills necessary to first set the stage for group problem solving and decision making by recognizing the components of an effective team. You'll explore valuable strategies for improving group effectiveness, strategies that will enable you to move past groupthink and other obstacles and on to team productivity. You'll also learn how to better diagnose problems within a group setting, and then generate dynamic alternatives based on your diagnosis. Finally, you'll explore concrete ways to select the best option and make a wise, lasting business decision. You can't go it alone. This course will show you why and how to make the most of the advantages inherent in group problem solving and decision making.

Group Problem Solving and Decision Making

  • recognize the value of learning from the mistakes of other ineffective problem-solving and decision-making groups.
  • identify characteristics of ineffective problem-solving and decision-making groups.
  • select valid group dynamics problems.
  • recognize benefits of establishing and maintaining an effective problem-solving group.
  • identify strategies to maintain a team's engagement while it resolves a business problem.
  • analyze the strategies used by a team leader to enhance group communication.
  • apply strategies for handling a difficult team member.
  • recognize benefits of using effective group problem-solving techniques.
  • analyze the effectiveness of a group using the alternative worldview method of group problem diagnosis.
  • select effective group brainstorming strategies.
  • analyze the effectiveness of a team leader employing techniques to overcome groupthink.
  • analyze the effectiveness of a team using the nominal group technique to make a business decision.
  • identify effective strategies to use during a decision follow-up meeting.

Module 7 - Effective Thinking and Creative Problem Solving Simulation

Robofac, Inc. is a leading supplier of robotic systems for factory automation. The company has had recent success adapting their technology for more specialized applications, including medical, with the highly successful introduction of their voice-controlled, laser surgery arm. Their marketing department is investigating the feasibility of developing "consumer" robots. You, the Product Manager, have been charged with determining whether it's a good idea from a practical standpoint, and with proposing a cost-effective implementation plan. In this simulation, the first of two, the learner interacts with the head of design to brainstorm and gather information, and with engineering to target a solution for locomotion--a difficult problem, since most of Robofac's work has been in stationary applications. The goal of this simulation is to provide a fun and interesting problem on which you can practice your creative problem solving and effective thinking skills. You'll apply productive thinking patterns and utilize creative techniques for generating alternative solutions. (Part two of this simulation will focus on rational problem solving and decision-making, in which you propose a direction for the design of the consumer robot, and make a recommendation as to whether this venture is a good business decision for Robofac. However, both simulations are independent of one another.)

Effective Thinking and Creative Problem Solving Simulation

  • avoiding thinking traps and poor usage of heuristics.
  • avoiding cognitive laziness.
  • effectively gathering information.
  • utilizing productive brainstorming techniques.
  • eliminating ego involvement.
  • recognizing and overcoming bias.
  • utilizing an adaptive problem solving mind-set.
  • evaluating underlying assumptions.
  • analyzing and refining ideas.
  • examining invited inferences.
  • effectively using the BEST model for problem solving.

Module 8 - Rational Decision-making and Problem Solving Simulation

Robofac, Inc. is a leading supplier of robotic systems for factory automation. The company has had recent success adapting their technology for more specialized applications, including medical, with the highly successful introduction of their voice-controlled, laser surgery arm. Their marketing department is investigating the feasibility of developing "consumer" robots. You, the Product Manager, must work with the VP of Marketing, the head of Design, and the head of Engineering to determine whether or not this is a good business decision and to analyze if Robofac's infrastructure can absorb the project using only existing resources. In this simulation, part two of two, the emphasis is on rational problem solving and decision-making. The goal of this simulation is to provide a fun and interesting problem on which you can practice your problem solving skills. You'll apply effective problem-framing, problem definition and decision-making techniques such as the ease and effect matrix, PMI analysis, the devil's advocacy technique and causal flow analysis.

Rational Decision-making and Problem Solving Simulation

  • performing causal flow analysis.
  • determining correlation strength.
  • applying problem-redefinition strategies.
  • conducting a PMI analysis.
  • demonstrating sound decision-making principles.
  • employing a comprehensive decision-making style.
  • utilizing problem-framing techniques.
  • constructing an ease and effect matrix.
  • overcoming biases and false assumptions.
  • utilizing the devil's advocacy technique.