Upcoming Events

Association for Strategic Planning Annual Conference (ASP 2020)

Strategy & Technology: Harnessing Disruption, Transformation, and Innovation

“Test Drive Your Critical Decisions”

Tuesday 9th June 2020.   1:00–1:50 pm EDT

a video presentation followed by Q&A

For agenda and registration information, please visit: 




Why do so many critical business decisions go awry? And what can leaders do to improve decision quality and outcomes? In this presentation, I will answer the first question using the Law of Unintended Consequences (LUC), which states that attempts to intervene in complex situations tend to produce unexpected and often unpleasant consequences. I will explain the primary causes of LUC— cognitive biases and bounded rationality—and how they wreak havoc. Next, I will answer the second question by presenting a method for “bending” LUC called a decision “test drive.” This method combines scenario planning and “what-if” simulations to help leaders practice critical decisions and learn safely from virtual rather than real mistakes—helping businesses improve their anticipation of the future and reduce the frequency and severity of unintended consequences. Finally, I will illustrate this method in action by presenting a test drive solution for strategies to manage organizational change. Test driving change strategies is crucial because disruptive business decisions often fail not because they are unsound, but rather because companies don’t adapt and embrace the internal changes those decisions entail. 

©2019 by Richard M. Adler

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