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Strategic Decision Making

Strategic Decision Making

A Discovery-Led Approach to Critical Choices in Turbulent Times

Simon Haslam, Ben Shenoy

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Make sound strategic decisions in an uncertain business world by using this discovery-led approach.

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About the book

Making strategic decisions is a fundamental skill for leaders and managers. However, in a business environment that is in a constant state of change, making strategic decisions has never been more difficult. Strategic Decision Making addresses this challenge by providing a framework that can be used to make sound decisions in an uncertain world. Structured around the core concepts of framing, experimenting and scaling, this book will ensure that efforts are focused where the need is greatest, that interventions are tested, evaluated and revised if necessary and that successful initiatives are effectively rolled out across the business.

Packed with real world examples and backed up by academic research, Strategic Decision Making will allow today's leaders and the leaders of tomorrow to make successful and defensible business choices. It shows how to: avoid decision-making bias, overcome organizational inertia, manage the difficulties of rigid organizational structures and avoid being side tracked by outdated or irrelevant experience. Essential reading for business practitioners and management students alike, this comprehensive guide provides a robust approach to achieving strategic success.

Table Of Contents

    • Chapter - 00: Introduction - Why Strategic Decision Making needs to become Discovery-led;
    • Chapter - 01: The World is Changing, but we don’t always see it;
    • Chapter - 02: Organizational Inertia - Why Enterprises find it Difficult to Change;
    • Chapter - 03: Top-down Decisions;
    • Chapter - 04: Middle-Out Decisions;
    • Chapter - 05: Discovery-Led Decision Making;
    • Chapter - 06: Mode I - Framing;
    • Chapter - 07: Mode II - Experimenting;
    • Chapter - 08: Mode III - Scaling;
    • Chapter - 09: Implications for Organisations;
    • Chapter - 10: The Force that is You


This book presents fresh insights and a contemporary perspective based on an iterative, non-linear approach to strategic decision making. It offers a holistic framework for organizations seeking to adapt to the chaotic and challenging times of the 21st Century.
Stephan Thoma, Executive Advisor, formerly Learning and Development Director, Google

Most executives struggle with strategy and as the nature and pace of change has accelerated, the challenges have become intractable. This book presents a useful critique of the strategic planning methods we have become used to before going on to set out an approach that is altogether more suited to the digital era. It is an important read for anybody involved in developing strategy.
Simon Murray, Co-founder of the acumen7 network, former chairman of contractor Osborne and non-executive director of Highways England

As an organisation operating in a multinational environment, with a fast-changing environmental backdrop coupled with not insignificant internal change programmes, this book delivers pragmatic insights into the realities of modern strategy formulation and execution
Russell Higginbotham, Global Head of Life & Health, Swiss Re

Simon Haslam and Ben Shenoy have the ability to demystify and weave the multitude of theories and models on business strategy into relevant applications for today's complex environment. As an organization that is constantly challenged by global complexity, our leadership team benefited greatly from the ideas in this book and its thought provoking questions to enable clear strategic pathways and options to be developed. Strategic Decision Making is for managers and senior executives trying to navigate complexity in customers, product or service offerings, where a dynamic marketplace demands constant strategic model development.
Alistair Macdonald, MSc, CEO, INC InVentiv

This new book, Strategic Decision Making, represents a refreshing and challenging view of our knowledge and practice of how leaders and managers make decisions and need to make them in the current era of unprecedented disruption. Bringing to bear ideas of 'wicked problems' which challenge the traditional strategic analysis techniques, and expanding on the implications of volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) times, the authors introduce, explain, and evidence an approach for this century. With due evaluation of classic strategy tools, and both 'top down' and ' middle out' approaches to strategic decision making, an alternative conceptualisation is developed round 'discovery led' strategy. This is built around three ideas : framing, experimenting and scaling, which are but brought to life with contemporary examples and vignettes of companies and decisions which have started from big decisions, with small test implementations, which when successful, are expanded into businesses we recognise in the 21st century. A recommended alternative take for managers and students alike.
Professor Susan Hart, Dean, Durham University Business School

The timing of this book could not have been better! In a world that is uncertain with political, economic and social disruption the norm, the insight provided is invaluable. The balance between academic rigour and, crucially, real life practice, makes it a must-read for any senior executive tasked with the privilege and challenge of making decisions that affect the future of their organisation. It is refreshing to read a book about strategy that focuses on the importance of situational factors and, especially, on the impact we have as leaders, on strategy and its execution.
Louise Gulliver, Managing Director at the Institute of Directors

Book Details

  • EAN: 9780749472603
  • Edition: 1
  • Published: 3rd January 2018
  • Paperback
  • Format: 234x157
  • 256 pages

About the Author

Dr Simon Haslam is a Chartered Director, strategy consultant and strategy programme lead at the Institute of Directors. He is a Visiting Fellow at Durham University Business School and co-owns the research and consulting firm FMR Research. He consults internationally to public,private and third sector organisations.

Dr Ben Shenoy helps organizations apply behavioural insights to a variety of business issues, through executive education, speaking engagements and applied research. He is a Visiting Professor at The London School of Economics and Director of the Business Insights Lab at the University of Surrey.

Simon Haslam

Ben Shenoy

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