About Thinking Clearly and Choosing Wisely Course

Our personal and business lives are determined by the decisions we make. As important as these decisions are, we are usually not trained to make them. Academia seldom embraces the challenge of teaching informed decision making. As a result we observe youth making ill informed, life shaping decisions without regard to the long term consequences. Later young adults make additional life shaping decisions about education, careers, marriage, friends, ethics and personal behavior. Then as adults we are expected to make important strategic and tactical business decisions that set the course for our employers and hence our careers and at the same time we are expected to make sound personal decisions that shape the quality of life for our families. As a population we are poorly equipped to make these decisions and usually base them on past lessons learned and how others, also untrained, have influenced us.

The media keeps us aware of the decision mistakes of others in our society. It is reported that there are 90,000 deaths per year caused by medical mistakes each rooted in a flawed decision. The press is also quick to inform us of the decision errors by business leaders and political officials who are tempted by insider information and backroom deals to feather their own nests. And, then there are the decisions of celebrities making decisions that undermine their careers and families.

All too often addiction, emotion, and intuition, among others, take over and cloud decision judgment when other more rationale judgment bases are appropriate.

Security cameras and camera phones often record our decision actions without our awareness. Young folks often record their own unflattering actions and reveal them on the Internet for all to access. Many famous icons have fallen from their pedestal perch by being recorded in embarrassing counter image actions.

In order to make smart decisions one needs to become Decision Fit to Think Clearly and Choose Wisely. Just as athletes seek to be physically fit, everyone can benefit by becoming decision fit. A decision fit person is one who can quickly and accurately define and type the decision to be made, select the proper basis for judgment, conceive the best alternatives, and apply the best judgment process. In addition, a decision fit person can quickly recognize when others are erring and assist them in pursuing a better approach.

Thinking Clearly and Choosing Wisely guides participants to becoming decision fit through a blend of lecture, interaction, and exercises. While it is directed to improving decisions of all types, this course concentrates on avoiding major decision errors.


You will learn:
  • Module 1 – The Importance of Decisions
    This module introduces the power of decisions in shaping one’s quality of life including the impact of digital permanence that enables others to search the Internet for a person’s digital history. Typical decisions for various businesses are evaluated and the shocking record of past errors caused by bad decisions is revealed. The definitions of decisions, intentions, good decisions, bad decisions, decision outcomes, and decision fitness are all provided.
  • Module 2 – The Decision and Context
    This module introduces the concept of framing and its application to defining the decision and the decision context. Decision wording is examined to ensure the proper decision is being addressed and that the decision statement is not unintentionally biased.
  • Module 3 – The Decision Type Frame
    This module defines four distinctions that make up the decision type frame.
    They are:
    1. The possibility of a highly undesirable result
    2. The permanence of the decision outcome
    3. The uncertainty of the decision information
    4. Whether the decision is binding on others?
    If the decision can produce a highly undesirable result and the outcome will be permanent it is deemed a high impact decision requiring thorough analysis and process rigor. If the decision is based on uncertainty and is binding on others, then achieving consensus on the decision action will likely be difficult.
  • Module 4 – The Bases For Judgment
    This module clarifies and examines the ten bases for decision judgment often applied by decision makers. Selecting the correct basis is important to achieving the best outcome and is especially important if the decision is to be reviewed by expert, senior, or judicial oversight. Some decision bases are defensible and others like addiction or emotion based judgment are not. Some decision bases are process based such as fact based and probability based and others such as faith based are not.
  • Module 5 – The Decision Solution Frame
    Module 2 developed the power of framing. Module 3 characterized the Decision Type by framing with decision distinctions. This module develops the decision solution frame that bounds the alternatives to be considered and the criteria that will govern the judgment of the best alternative. The frame boundaries contain both quantitative and qualitative criteria that can be both mandatory and desirable with weighting to denote the value of the criteria. This approach ensures all factors are considered appropriately in the judgment of alternatives. The module concludes with the recognizing the defensibility of judgment processes.
  • Module 6 – Fact Based Judgments
    This module is focuses on fact based judgments that make up most of the decisions we make. Five credible fact based processes are covered that offer a range of precision and thoroughness. A threaded example provides a comparison of the process effectiveness.
  • Module 7 – Probability Based Judgments
    Many decisions, especially business decisions, must be based on a difficult to define future and indeterminate events and circumstances. This module covers the use of decision trees that facilitate comparison of alternative approaches based on best effort probability estimates. The module includes the use of investigations and analyses to reduce the uncertainty of the probability estimates and introduces the concept of Bayesian Team Support.
  • Module 8 – Course Summary
    This module summarizes the key elements of thinking clearly about decisions, especially those with high impact outcomes.
Tailoring: This training can be tailored to audiences ranging from young teens to expert business professionals.