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Merit Career Development > Courses > Strategic Thinking and Decision-Making

Strategic Thinking and Decision-Making

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Sound decision-making and problem-solving skills are key to organizational success. Modern psychology is studying the processes at work in our complex and sophisticated brain, and has identified common errors in thinking, shortcuts used in the critical thinking process that can lead to errors, and cognitive biases that influence our decisions without our knowledge. But how do you navigate through the though process before arriving at a decision or solution? This workshop is designed to help participants improve their critical thinking and problem solving processes while focusing on applying these new skills to workplace challenges and making better decisions.

Learning Objectives

  • Discover individual biases and blind spots
  • Apply System 1 versus System 2 thinking as appropriate to make better decisions
  • Diagnose common design traps and techniques to avoid them
  • Explain and experience "framing" when individuals and groups make decisions
  • Review rational tools to improve individual and group problem solving and decision making
  • Apply rational tools to workplace-specific problems and decision challenges

Topics & Content

  • Strategic decision-making model
  • System 1 and System 2 thinking processes
  • Bounded Rationality
  • Decision Traps
  • The use of rational tools to improve decision making.
  • The role of emotion in decision-making
  • Making decisions throughout the workshop

Course Information

Course Code: LD201
Duration: 2 days
Targeted Audience: Managers, Team Leaders, Supervisors, Emerging leaders, Employees at any level

  • CBRN - 14 CEU(s)
  • OPM - 14 CLP(s)
  • PMI - 14 PDU(s)
  • SHRM - 14 PDC(s)

Course Feedback

What parts of the workshop were most valuable and/or beneficial to you?

All of the workshop was valuable and beneficial to me because I never worked on a project.

All of them

All – new ways learn how to look on things.



Cause and effect diagram, challenge, Alexander's question, never heard of it

Clear, well presented, well delivered in all aspects of the training.

Decision traps and avoiding them and the premortem – most applicable/relevant.

Decision traps and decision making model.

Decision traps and framing.

Decision traps has been very interesting and I am learning for first time and so many types of decision traps exist is really amazing.

Decision traps, premortem.

Educating on strategic choice model – understanding decision traps and working around them.

Everything was valuable.

Everything… Every tip that helps to make decisions in a strategical way was really helpful.

Exercises and group work.


Great course

Group activities made training more valuable

Group discussion during the workshop specific to company's projects.

He showed a constant and introduced a clear real example, which is understandable and persuasive for me.

I actually enjoyed learning new techniques and processes of new critical thinking ideas

I believe that the whole workshop was very valuable, as each section built on the previous section. The risk management/decision traps was fantastic, case study was excellent.

I enjoyed the open discussions and the opportunity to work through a real scenario.

I loved the Critical Thinking techniques. Afforded us the opportunity and then discussed in the exercise how to apply it to our specific work areas.

I think the second day was the best. Hands-on.

Instructor providing different perspective/factors into decision-making process. This helped me with considerations when trying to influence others. The breakout sessions to work with other attendees.

Learning a lot about S1 and S2 thinking. Being able to apply the techniques to real life events.

Learning more about the tools I can use in performing daily duties.

Lots of tools and methods to thinking presented, almost too many. Good exercises.

New material on critical thinking was refreshing and helpful

Premortem evaluation. A very useful technique that I can apply to many projects in my job

Premortem exercise and decision traps were most valuable for me, because they were more relevant to my day-to-day work.

Premortem exercise because this is applicable, fast, most decisions on a day to day basis.

Premortem exercise. This method is immediately applicable.

Real-world scenarios.

Role of emotion in decision-making. Because I understand that, emotion controls different needs, avoid negative, delay something like that.

S1 and 2; overconfidence trap. Questions: how do you know, Nominal Group Technique

S1 and S2 theory and slow down

Strategic choice model and how to combine system 1 and 2 together. It is of great help for decision-making, comprehensive.

Strategic planning model and system 1 and system 2 thinking, because I learned differences between system 1 and system 2.

Strategy thinking traps.

Team exercises and lessons learned

The Tools

The drug breakthrough scenario (learning from each other), framing, emotion.

The group sessions were very valuable; it was good to see people engaging and participating

The interaction and communication with other employees made the effectiveness of the class more interesting and engaging.

The new tools and process for thinking through a problem; team exercises

The strategic thinking explanation and the diagnose covered decision traps and techniques to avoid them.

Understanding S1 and S2. Help me to understand myself.

Understanding processes.

Very relevant and put into context excellently for the MSL role.

Working with the cause and effect diagram.

What improvements should be made to the workshop?

Add something on creativity and remove some of the tools (e.g. priority analysis, Alexander's question more on sifting through extraneous information)

Already done most of the time – examples (from daily life) for each part.

Applying the framing and randomness decision traps – hard to see this from an MSL perspective.

Ball toss exercise needed to be explained in more detail before starting

Being able to relate tools to job more. It was most beneficial when we were able to relate and work tools that applied to our job

Can't think of any

Control of the course and students.

Decrease distracting examples.

Exercise to demonstrate the influence of emotion over decision-making and how this can have either positive or negative effects.

Exercises and timing pretty tight, yet exercises very effective

Felt material was a little rushed

Have specific examples identified ahead of time that are relevant to the company.

I don't see any need for any improvements. I thought it was a very well presented course.

I feel interactive development program effective for field medical.

I suggest to add a part on problem-solving.

I think we have to do this more often – in our home country and in our language.

I thought it was great!

I want the movie of this lecture, so that I can review the contents.

Increase the course time and ask the students to bring an actual work issue or problems to get to know how to solve it or practice to solve it.

Instead of two days make it three days.

It will be appreciated to give a further introduction of how to avoid framing/anchoring trap.

Manage our managers.

Maybe to close the program could be useful to have an activity covering every part of the program to share more experiences.

More dose business and work filed.

More emphasis on how to use tools and methods to develop strategic planning (mission, vision, etc.)

More employees to come into the workshop to learn more.

More individual small exercises.

More movement on day 2 – interactive scenarios to keep engaged.

More time on premortem, perhaps doing different examples at each table and then rotating everyone to other tables.




Perhaps more time for one-on-one use the techniques.

Provide the class material on day 1 instead of on day 2.

Should be more interactive and group activities/some real-world videos rather than lectures. Also some case capsules can be discussed.

Start earlier in the day so it may end earlier

To include more real-life case scenarios – MSL function perspective.

Comments and suggestions for the facilitators

Assign seats instead of letting people pick

Gail is an experienced presenter and was able to navigate negative comments and maintain a rapport with the folks in class and stay on target.

Gail's enthusiasm made me feel good and optimistic about learning.

Great presenter and facilitator

Hourly breaks are very good!

I often felt drowned out by "loud mouths" in group, though I tried to speak I was talked over.

I want the movie because there are some parts or instances I can’t understand.

It was systematic and interactive.

More concrete examples.

More exercises with the group

No - really, really excellent training by an experienced, knowledgeable trainer.

No comment or suggestions. Great job!


None, thanks for organizing this lecture.


Perhaps these people did not learn how to listen as one of the techniques

Should be part of training to everyone - not necessarily as part of a leadership program.

Susan Morris was awesome

Susan is professional, personable, fun and knowledgeable. One of the best instructors I've ever had

Susan was very good

Tables disposition: I could not hear well the people that was in front of me but turned back.

Thank so much for your learning opportunity. Your listening style is wonderful, for many questions and comments.

Thank you for coming, thank you for inspiring our quiet, junior workforce to share ideas!

The insights critical thinking exercise needs to be clear as there was a little confusion around exactly what we were being asked to do, i.e., what is the checklist of information needed for a good/excellent insight. Versus how do you rank the importance of an insight, i.e., pertains to safety, has global versus local impact, etc.

The instructor was very informative.

The program was perfect.

There should be some follow-up modules close program to refresh the knowledge.

Use a few more relevant (MSL) examples when presenting new theory.

Very enthusiastic, passionate about what she's teaching, made for a great experience

Very interesting.

Very knowledgeable; kept class interested and involved

Very valuable ideas and processes that can be used throughout the organization.

Imagine that a coworker asks: what was the workshop like for you? How will you respond?


Great opportunity to open new ways of thinking and become more self-aware. Definitely worth attending.


I got useful tips on using System 2 thinking.

I have already voiced my satisfaction with course to others in Squadron

I loved it!

I think it taught me how to slow my responses down and allow my brain to process the information before speaking. We all think we know to do this however seeing how it can impact your position when you don't do it was interesting and enlightening.

I thought it was great and I recommend them taking it



It was all new to me so all information was exciting to me. It was well presented.

It was excellent and helpful and practical. I highly recommend everyone to take this course.

It was good

It was great.

It was very helpful and highly recommended

Learned new ways of thinking about how to approach problems

Only effective if parties are open to expanding their "frames" if not open to new avenues it will not help!

Opened my mind to different way of thinking

Pretty good.

Such a great break from routine, nice way to get to know my co-workers

The workshop is well worth your time.

The workshop was a great tool to build a method to help make a decision.

The workshop was very helpful. I learned a lot in getting ready for a project.

Very beneficial. Great insight on how I attach problems and process information. Thank you!

Very good

Very informative, different, useful. Not what I anticipated. Everyone should be allowed to attend

You should attend. It was interesting and informative.

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