Faculty Spotlight: Carl Spetzler

Carl Spetzler

Successful decision-making processes are not intuitive. In order to make great, or even good decisions under pressure, you need a structured framework. If you want to learn to make these complex decisions while also mitigating risk and eliminating biases, there is no better guide than Carl Spetzler, PhD, author and expert in applied decision science. Dr. Spetzler has been on the forefront of decision theory since the late 1960s, where he worked at Stanford University in conjunction with non-profit research institute SRI International. A pioneer in Strategic Decision and Risk Management, today he heads Strategic Decisions Group (SDG), a consultancy that has established and continues to refine what it takes to make leaders successful decision makers.

“These are highly analytical or organizationally complex problems which makes decisions difficult. And you have to make big bets.”

Texas Executive Education, in partnership with SDG, offers our new Strategic Decision and Risk Management (SDRM) Program which teaches professionals how to develop a multitude of alternatives for highly complex decisions. “The leverage of having many alternatives and a better choice up front often gets you much greater value from a decision situation,” Spetzler says. He teaches students how to eliminate alternatives where success may be hampered by human and organizational bias. Furthermore, classes in SDRM provide participants with the tools to decide efficiently and to implement those decisions with maximum effectiveness. “Today we drive decision sciences forward through high value and practical applications. It’s not very expensive to improve the decision, but it is expensive to change the execution of a bad decision,” Spetzler says.

For many professionals, there is an understandable challenge in becoming aware of how valuable SDRM could be to their organization. According to Spetzler, it is the nature of bias to be unaware, and through SDG’s extensive research, there are many subtle biases most would never uncover. “Human nature is not designed to make the best choices when we face complexity,” Spetzler says. “We can give people the toolset to double their value in a high-risk situation simply by overcoming human nature.” The SDRM process forces professionals to uncover and confront the biases not only of their own decisions but of the alternatives pitched by their team.

You cannot make a great decision if you do not know your alternatives. You also cannot make a decision if you don’t know your own blind spots. The SDRM process opens up the hood on the decision engine, then gives you the tools to change out the motor. The result is that organizations move faster, more efficiently, and with a lot more power.

Check out our new SDRM offerings here.