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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 thought 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?

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

Exercises and group work.

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

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.

Working with the cause and effect diagram.

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


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

Decision traps and decision making model.

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 and framing.

Understanding processes.


Real-world scenarios.

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

Everything was valuable.

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

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

Premortem exercise. This method is immediately applicable.

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

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

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

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

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

Decision traps, premortem.

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

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

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

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

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

Strategy thinking traps.

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

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

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

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

All – new ways learn how to look on things.

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.

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


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.

S1 and S2 theory and slow down

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

Team exercises and lessons learned

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

Group activities made training more valuable

All of them

New material on critical thinking was refreshing and helpful

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

The Tools

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

Great course

Understanding S1 and S2. Help me to understand myself.

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

What improvements should be made to the workshop?

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

I suggest to add a part on problem-solving.

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

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

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

Start earlier in the day so it may end earlier

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

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

Exercises and timing pretty tight, yet exercises very effective

I thought it was great!

Can't think of any

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

More dose business and work filed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I feel interactive development program effective for field medical.


Instead of two days make it three days.


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.


More employees to come into the workshop to learn more.

Comments and suggestions for the facilitators

Very interesting.

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.

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

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


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

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

Hourly breaks are very good!

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

None, thanks for organizing this lecture.

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

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

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

More concrete examples.

The program was perfect.


It was systematic and interactive.

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

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.

The instructor was very informative.

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

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

More exercises with the group

Very knowledgeable; kept class interested and involved

Susan Morris was awesome

No comment or suggestions. Great job!

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

Susan was very good

Great presenter and facilitator

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

Learned new ways of thinking about how to approach problems

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.

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

You should attend. It was interesting and informative.

It was very helpful and highly recommended

Very good

It was good

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

I loved it!


I got useful tips on using System 2 thinking.

Pretty good.

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

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



It was great.

The workshop is well worth your time.


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

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

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

Opened my mind to different way of thinking

I thought it was great and I recommend them taking it

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

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

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