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Strategic Decision-Making for Leaders

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Organisational leaders are often called to make strategic decisions in uncertain and complex situations in which information is ambiguous, ‘unknown unknowns’ and ‘Black Swans’ are rampant, and time is of the essence. Ambiguity is exacerbated by the fact that decisions are never “objective” as described in the fact sheets – they have to reflect wishes of multiple actors and allegiances and support from parties who interact with the decision maker in relationships and cultural frames. Effective decision-making requires the adoption of decision approaches that fit the complexities of these situations, and the efficient management of decision-making processes. It also requires the ability to think strategically in highly interactive markets and acute insights into the psychology behind people’s behaviour.

Effective decision-making skills can be trained, and this programme blends theory and practice to help you become a more effective decision-maker. You will learn about the main sources of decision failures at individual level (when uncertainty overwhelms us), at the group and organisational level (where we are “biased” by social interactions and implicit cultural assumptions), and at the level of strategic decisions in a competitive marketplace (where you need to intuit and pre-empt the behaviour of competitors and customers). These three levels are guided by different sets of thinking frameworks, and you will leave the programme equipped with practical tools and techniques specifically designed to improve the quality of your decision making at each level (example tools include counterfactual reasoning, robustness thinking, the social emotions as motivation drivers, a framework of cultural filters, and judo and nudge strategies).


The programme is highly interactive and experiential, relying on simulations, exercises, cases, videos, and lectures to create the material for an effective class discussion. The following topics are covered:

At the level of individual analysis and decision making:

  • Judgment and decision-making under uncertainty
  • Understanding and managing unknown unknowns and Black Swans.

At the group and organisational level of decision making:

  • How our decisions are influenced by social interactions (sometimes in ways that point away from the strategic goals)
  • How culture provides wisdom, or “intuition,” in complex situations that we as individuals cannot fully analyse our way through, but this intuition may sometimes reduce our ability to take new paths.

At the market level of decision making:

  • Strategic decisions in a competitive market; application of judo strategy
  • Applications of behavioural insights, in particular nudge strategies.


By the end of the programme, you will:

  • Be conversant with the standard approaches to effective decision-making under uncertainty
  • Be able to identify a small number of key social dynamics, and influence them, in ways that positively affect the way groups and organisations make decisions
  • Be able to use practical reasoning strategies and de-biasing techniques to improve strategic decision-making
  • Be able to adopt decision approaches that are suitable to deal with unknown unknowns and Black Swans
  • Understand and succeed in a competitive market environment using tools such as judo strategy
  • Apply behavioural insights to influence people with tools such as nudge strategies.
Icon: Executive Education Certificates of Achievement.

This programme counts towards the Cambridge Judge Business School General Management Certificate of Achievement. On completing the GMCA you will be eligible to become an associate member of Cambridge Judge Business School’s global network of graduates and business-focused University of Cambridge alumni, faculty and staff.

Who should attend

  • Senior to mid-level leaders of major corporations and public policy making bodies
  • Senior leaders of small and medium-sized enterprises
  • Startup founders.

Faculty & speakers

Alberto Feduzi

Senior Faculty in Management Practice

PhD (University of Cambridge)

Vincent Mak

Professor of Marketing & Decision Sciences

PhD (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)

Christoph H Loch

Professor of Management Studies

PhD (Stanford Graduate School of Business)

Dates & fees




Fees *

23-25 February 2022


3 days

£3,300 + VAT


* Fees include instruction, materials, lunch and breaks. Preferential rates may be available for groups, University of Cambridge alumni and members of the School’s Alumni Association. Please note prices pre-registration are subject to change.


Live Online

Explanation of Live Online programmes.


Explanation of face-to-face programmes.

Terms & conditions

For information regarding payment terms, cancellation rights, transfer policies and fees, please see our terms & conditions documents:

Terms & Conditions for Self-funded Applicants (pdf, 277KB) (updated 25 August 2021)
Terms & Conditions for Organisation-funded Applicants (pdf, 295KB) (updated 25 August 2021)

Registration closes at midday two working days before the programme start date.

Participants are expected to attend the full programme.


Please ensure that you have read our Frequently Asked Questions, which provide important additional information about our face-to-face and Live Online programmes, in particular during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Contact us

If you have any questions or would like to have a chat about this programme and how it could benefit you or your organisation, please get in touch with the programme advisor:

Allison Wheeler-Heau

Director of Open Programmes
Tel: +44 (0)1223 765855
Mob: +44 (0)7901 622646

Schedule a call with Allison

[email protected]

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Allison Wheeler-Héau

Version 1.1 (20 October 2021)


Managing Organisations


3 days


23-25 February 2022

Book a place

Download a brochure

To find out more about our range of open enrolment programmes, download our brochure.

Download the brochure