The CEO as Chief Decision Maker

The CEO as Chief Decision Maker

Written by Dr. Jim Murray, CEO, Optimal Solutions International and creator of the CEO Program: Acquiring the Edge and Leading with Purpose

Making good decisions in a world of increasing uncertainty, ambiguity, and volatility is a leader’s most important job. It’s also the toughest and riskiest. Good decisions determine your legacy and the success of your enterprise; bad decisions damage your business, credibility and career, sometimes irreparably. This is why a major portion of CPA Alberta’s new executive offering, The CEO Program, is devoted to improving the art and science of decision-making.

Poor decision-making is a problem that even leaders themselves are aware of. In a survey of 2,200 executives, less than 33% said the quality of their decisions was “generally good,” about 55% thought bad decisions were “as frequent as good ones,” and the remaining 12% felt good decisions were “altogether infrequent.”

To get to better decisions, you have to understand the cause of poor decisions. It isn’t usually a lack of brain power or knowledge: good information may go in, but poor choices often come out. So, the cause must lie in what happens in between—how the decision is made, which is up to the leader to determine.

One problem I often see is the leader not fully allowing a variety of viewpoints—including contradictory input. Many CEOs allow the insights of a few eloquent, assertive or senior people to dominate the conversation, and not everyone is encouraged to pull their weight. As well, too many leaders force collective agreement and fail to embrace and formalize the notion of advocating alternatives (by utilizing decision-altering tools like pre-mortems, scenario forecasting, and business case thinking).

Good decisions require sharing, unfettered candour, and respectful dissent. Fortunately, the warning signs of insufficient frankness and non-constructive dialogue can be detected by asking the right questions.

The CEO Program will explore those questions, other causes of poor decision-making, and how to establish a road map for making smart choices with a process that encourages multiple perspectives where discussants are skeptical generalists, not provisional advocates, and ensures all assumptions and risks are explicit, then reality-tested.

Hear more from Jim by attending his upcoming CEO Program: Acquiring the Edge and Leading with Purpose
May 4-7, 2020
Price: $3,250 + GST
Early bird price until February 4, 2020: $2,950 + GST

Registration is open until April 2, 2020

Register Today!

Past Testimonials: 

“Unlike any other leadership program I’ve ever taken. The information, knowledge, insights and tips I gained over three days is far superior to the six months of executive coaching I’ve received. I was engaged 100% of the time – not many speakers can do that. This course has changed my life.” – CEO

“I learned not only what I need to do internally (with staff, systems and expectations) but externally as well. My biggest/favourite take-aways were what I learned about myself.” – CEO

“Provided me with gems of insight – I tried to absorb every wisdom Jim imparted. A transformative experience. Every second of my life is worthy of my time and energy. I enjoyed it immensely.” – President