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Structuring Decisions

: Innovating Through Turbulence

September 16-18, 2014 

Program Instructors

Mike Boehlje

Allan Gray

Nicole Olynk Widmar

Program Overview
You make tons of decisions at work all of the time. Yet, there are typically two or three throughout the year that have a bigger impact on the direction of the company. New product strategies, investment opportunities, research and development initiatives - we call these “fork-in-the-road” decisions. Because of their impact, they take more time and require a more structured approach than deciding what new office chair you want to buy. And, honestly, they can be a little scary.

That’s why we offer Structuring Decisions, a three-day seminar that gives you the knowledge and tools needed to make strategic choices. You will learn how to clarify the specific decision you need to make, list the alternatives and manage any risk involved. Mastering this process and using these tools significantly increases your odds of success.

Key Benefits
At this seminar, you will:

  • Develop a more reasoned, systematic approach to making critical decisions
  • Acquire a set of practical decision-making tools, such as heat mapping and score carding
  • Gain awareness of the most common psychological traps to avoid in making decisions
  • Discover the value of taking substantial time to make strategic decisions (not all decisions can be made in one day)
  • Learn techniques to maintain current business while simultaneously driving future growth

Optional Individual Case Study
If you have a specific decision in mind that you are trying to make or will make in the future, bring it with you. Using a guided framework, you will have the option to develop an individual case study with one-on-one feedback from the program faculty. This allows you to spend time applying some of the tools presented in the classroom to your own decision.

At breakfast on the second and third mornings of the program, you can meet with the faculty to discuss any questions you have regarding the decision-making tools. Examples of decisions that past participants have analyzed include: launching a new product, developing a new inventory system, acquiring another company, and investing in research and development.

Program Content
Faculty instructors Allan Gray, Mike Boehlje and Nicole Olynk Widmar will use an agribusiness case study throughout the program to highlight

Framework for Decision Making

  • Defining the problem
  • Setting objectives
  • Considering alternatives
  • Describing consequences
  • Identifying tradeoffs

Tools for Effective Decision Making

  • Identifying sources of uncertainty and alternative consequences (scorecarding and heat mapping)
  • Outlining critical variables and framing the decision (Scenario analysis and influence diagram)
  • Defining potential outcomes in financial terms (pay off matrices)
  • Making first choices, identifying gaps and gathering more information (decision trees)
  • Using managerial flexibility in decision-making (real options)

Implementing the Decision

  • Learning from failure
  • Knowing when to kill a project
  • Aligning resources and avoiding traps in decision-making

Who should attend?
This seminar is intended for leaders and managers who are:

  • Pursuing possibilities for growth or considering investment opportunities
  • Investigating new market access or developing product launch strategies
  • Prioritizing research and technological developments
  • Leading or implementing growth or change initiatives

Registration Information:

Program Dates: September 16-18, 2014
Location: Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana
Registration Fee: $2,395
Team Rate: Call (765) 494-4247 to learn more
Early Bird Rate: $2,245, if registered by July 15, 2014
Educational Credit: You can earn CEU and CCA credit at this program.

Registration fees include all program materials, refreshments and some meals. Registrations are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Once the program is full, names will be added to a waiting list in the order in which they are received. Registration fees are due upon receipt of registration. Read the cancellation policy.


Center for Food and Agricultural Business
Krannert Building Room 781 / 403 W. State Street / West Lafayette, IN 47907-2056
tel (765) 494-4247 / fax (765) 494-4333 / www.agecon.purdue.edu/cab