Strategic Decision Making

Strategic Decision Making

Program Overview

You make a lot 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 your 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 typical day-to-day decisions.

That’s why we offer Strategic Decision Making, 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 scenario analysis and real options thinking.
  • Develop the discipline of identifying and documenting key assumptions as part of your decision process.
  • Learn techniques to maintain current business while simultaneously driving future growth.
  • Gain awareness of the most common psychological traps to avoid in making decisions.

Optional Individual Case Study

If you have a specific decision in mind that you are trying to make or will make in the near 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 instructor Allan Gray 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.

Participants have found benefit to attending with a team from their organization. For information on team pricing, please contact Associate Director Betty Jones-Bliss.

Program Partner

The center offers this program in partnership with the Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA).

Agricultural Retailers Association


Program Schedule

Tuesday, July 9

8:00 a.m.
Class begins

Wednesday, July 10

8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Program continues

Thursday, July 11
12:30 p.m.

Program adjourns

*A more detailed agenda will be posted soon.
Please note that Indiana is on Eastern Standard Time (EST).

Participant Specifics

Program Location

Purdue University
Krannert Building, Beck Learning Center, Room 758
403 West State Street
West Lafayette, Indiana 47907


Hilton Garden Inn
356 East State Street
West Lafayette, IN 47906
(765) 743-2100

We have a block of rooms reserved for the group, checking in on Monday, July 8, and checking out on Thursday, July 11. Please contact the Hilton Garden Inn to make your reservation ahead of time and use the group code SDM19 to receive the special rate of $113 a night. Check-in is at 3:00 p.m. and check-out is at 11:00 a.m.

Arrival and Departure/Transportation

The program will begin at 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday, July 9 and adjourn at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 11. Please do not make any departing flights out of Indianapolis or travel arrangements until after 3:30 p.m.

The hotel shuttle will provide transportation to our classroom location on campus or you may also drive and park on campus. Walking is also an option as the classroom facility is less than a mile from the hotel.


Breakfast is included in your rate and is served each morning at the Garden Grille & Bar at the Hilton Garden Inn. Lunch will be provided each day as well as coffee, soft drinks and refreshments. There will be a Networking Reception on Tuesday, July 9.

What to Wear

Attire for the conference is business casual. July in Indiana is typically a low of 63 degrees with a high of 90 degrees F. Please dress appropriately.


All of the presentations will also be available following the program.

Seminar Payment/Cancellation

Payment for the seminar is due upon registration.
Please refer to our cancellation policy. Substitutions can be made at any time.

For more information, contact:

April Sauer
Managing Director

Program Cancellation Policy

If a participant is unable to attend a Purdue University Center for Food and Agricultural Business program, the participant may choose to: 1) transfer their registration fee to another participant within the same company, or 2) choose to receive a credit for the same program or another program that takes place within the 12 months following the originally booked event. However, a request to use a credit must be received no less than 30 days prior to the program start date, otherwise the credit will not be valid. No refunds will be issued regardless of cancellation date.

The Center for Food and Agricultural Business reserves the right to cancel a program due to low enrollment or other circumstances which would make the program non-viable. If a program is cancelled, registrants will be offered a full refund. Should circumstances arise that result in the postponement of a program, the Center for Food and Agricultural Business has the right to either issue a full refund or transfer registration to the same program on the new future date. The Center for Food and Agricultural Business will not be responsible for reimbursement of any participant expenses related to the cancellation or postponement of an event.