Session Outline

Please review the seminar details. Scroll to the bottom to register.

Critical Decision Making: The Role of Constructive Conflict
with Prof. Michael Roberto

Date: April 10, 2019
Session Time: 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Location Information:
3 West Club
3 West 51st Street, New York, NY 10019
Session Description
Leaders hear 'yes' far too often. They don't hear bad news until it's too late. It's an enormous problem for leaders, for teams, for the entire organization. But is it inevitable? Absolutely not. In this workshop, Professor Michael Roberto shows you how to stimulate dissent and debate to improve your decision making; he also shows how to keep that conflict constructive. Of course, conflict alone does not produce better decisions and improved results. Leaders need to cultivate debate and simultaneously build consensus. Through fascinating examples from history, including the Bay of Pigs, Cuban Missile Crisis, and the tragedy on Mount Everest, the workshop will explore each of the following: the five myths of executive decision making; how to foster open debate that actually builds long-term consensus; how to achieve "diversity in counsel, unity in command"; how to move to closure: overcoming the inability to decide; avoiding "analysis paralysis" and other pitfalls; how to gain the whole-hearted commitment to act; and how to address hidden doubts that could undermine your final decision. Whether you're a senior executive or a project team member, this workshop will help you leverage your team's immense untapped wisdom to make better decisions—and get better results.

Prof. Michael Roberto is the Trustee Professor of Management at Bryant University in Smithfield, RI, where he teaches leadership, managerial decision-making, and business strategy. He joined the tenured faculty at Bryant after serving for six years on the faculty at Harvard Business School. He has also has been a Visiting Associate Professor of Management at New York University`s Stern School of Business. Professor Roberto`s research focuses on strategic decision-making processes and senior management teams. More recently, he has studied why catastrophic group or organizational failures happen, such as the Columbia Space Shuttle accident and the 1996 Mount Everest tragedy. Professor Roberto`s research has earned several major awards. His 2004 article, "Strategic decision-making processes: Beyond the efficiency-consensus tradeoff," was selected by Emerald Management Reviews as one of the top 50 management articles of 2004. His book, Why Great Leaders Don`t Take Yes For An Answer, was named one of the top 10 business books of 2005 by The Globe and Mail. His multimedia case study about the 2003 space shuttle accident, titled Columbia`s Final Mission, earned the software industry`s prestigious Codie Award in 2006 for Best Postsecondary Education Curriculum Solution. 
Time Allocation - Topics
33% Building and Leading a Team Case Study: The 1996 Mount Everest Tragedy 

Critical lessons regarding leadership style, common decision-making errors, team design, and the importance of developing a climate where people feel comfortable expressing dissenting views. 

33% Designing an Effective Decision-Making Process Case Study: Bay of Pigs and Cuban Missile Crisis. 

Through the study of these two classic decisions by President Kennedy, we compare and contrast how these two teams managed conflict more vs. less effectively. It also provides an interesting contrast in the leadership approach that Kennedy took in the failed decision vs. the later successful one. Specifically, he learned a great deal from the failure, and adapted his leadership style and his decision-making process in several critical ways in the latter case. 

34% Fostering Innovative Decision-Making Case Study: IDEO 

IDEO is one of the world’s leading product design firms. How has this firm consistently designed innovative, market leading products for companies in a wide variety of industries? What are the critical components of their highly creative, yet disciplined process for innovation and new product development? This case study allows us to examine how leaders at IDEO foster creativity and innovation, and build and lead high-performing teams. It also helps us understand the ways in which the leaders at IDEO have created a culture that encourages and stimulates innovation, which enables IDEO to sustain competitive advantage over time in a dynamic industry.
Guide to Participant Selection
1 indicates primary target audience.
2 indicates a good fit if the level of material is appropriate.
3 indicates (in the opinion of the institute and the faculty) very limited applicability.
Senior Executive
(Pres, Exec & Sr VP)
(VP & Gen'l Mgr)
Senior Managers
(Div & Reg. Mgrs)
Middle Managers
& Superintendents
Communication, Creativeness, Decisiveness, Interpersonal Relations, Judgment
Problem Identification, Selecting and Organizing Information, Analysis, Evaluating Alternative Solutions
Coordination, Decision Making, Follow Up, Results Analysis

Introductory    Intermediate    Advanced
Register Below