About Me

I specialize in designing methods and software solutions to  improve decision-making.  Many of my ideas draw on my studies in physics and space-time philosophy in college and graduate school, which convinced me of the importance of time and change in understanding the world.

 

Early in my career, I concentrated on supporting operational decisions by businesses and government agencies. I developed a database and analytics solution to improve process control in a semiconductor fabrication plant; a scheduler that optimized the flow of work on a factory floor; and an intelligent network management assistant that helped NASA engineers manage the custom computer system used to checkout, test, and launch Space Shuttles.  These last two systems used simulations to test and refine allocations of resources to work tasks and diagnostic hypotheses about network anomalies.

I subsequently shifted my focus to consulting on decisions involving enterprise-level  strategy and operations. Twenty years ago, I started  a company called DecisionPath and developed a novel method to support these important large-scale decisions. Consumers  test drive cars to help them decide whether those vehicles are likely to meet their wants and needs before buying them. Similarly, my "test drive" method helps organizations practice critical decisions  before committing to them. This allows decision-makers to identify and avoid poor decisions, and to refine more promising options to mitigate their undesirable consequences.  It also looks ahead while decisions are being executed, which enables leaders to identify problems as they emerge and make prompt mid-course adjustments.  

The software that I  created to enable this method (called ForeTell) exploits  artificial intelligence  and advanced modeling and simulation technologies.  ForeTell works  by helping executives (and analysts) better understand situational dynamics in advance − how their  actions are likely to combine with the behaviors of other parties of interest and environmental forces, trends, and events to produce outcomes.  Each solution is tailored to a particular kind of decision, and embeds unique knowledge from subject matter experts on that problem.  ForeTell test drive solutions have improved decisions about competitive drug marketing, allocating limited resources to combat terrorist threats, and calming turbulence in organizations facing disruptive change.

After decades of active practice supporting decision-makers, I have consolidated my experiences into my forthcoming book Bending the Law of Unintended Consequences, and I am interested in engaging in further discussions on this topic.

©2019 by Richard M. Adler

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