The Art of Decision Making

Combine rationality and intuition to achieve better decision-making processes

> Target audienceKey benefitsKey topicsMeet the staff

Today’s business leaders are increasingly forced to make quick decisions. Good managers instinctively set out to make reasoned, well-thought-out judgment calls, yet a rational approach to tackling decisions is only one side of the story. Too often, too much emphasis is placed on intuition, and personal biases begin to influence – and fatally flaw – the decision-making process. Doubtless, this process should be complemented with sound analysis.

“The Art of Decision Making” (DMA) looks at both sides of the equation. Combining an international peer group and distinguished faculty, the program merges practical experience with up-to-date theoretical concepts. In addition to discussing case studies and participating in individual and group exercises, participants will explore and tackle common decision-making challenges.

The program is designed to help managers achieve greater insight and learn to exercise sound judgment by honing decision-making skills and designing more effective group processes. Participants will learn to avoid common decision-making mistakes by breaking problems into manageable parts, effectively analyzing information, considering alternatives, and identifying the objectives they need to achieve. Finally, participants will gain a greater understanding of their own personal biases, how these affect the decisions they
make, and how to avoid their influence on future decisions.

The German language alternative program is “Die Kunst der Entscheidungsfindung” (ENT).


Target audience

Managers in all functions who are actively engaged in decision making during uncertainty and risk.


Key benefits

  • improve business performance by developing a deeper understanding of what drives effective versus ineffective decisions
  • learn to ask the right kinds of questions, use appropriate frameworks, and stop overanalyzing to avoid common decision traps
  • develop cooperative decision-making skills in situations where collaboration produces better results


Key topics

Making good decisions

  • Managing uncertainty
  • Evaluating alternatives
  • Valuing additional information

Understanding decision-making psychology

  • Identifying risk attitudes
  • Recognizing personal bias
  • Avoiding common pitfalls

Optimizing group processes

  • Combining individual knowledge and judgment
  • Steering and group dynamics
  • Implementing in the organizational context


“The faculty members were enthusiastic and incredibly knowledgeable, and the wide variety, backgrounds, and experiences of my fellow students added great value, too. All this set in beautiful surroundings with historical significance.”

Ruth Beadle, Senior Business & Development Analyst, Gazprom Marketing & Trading


Meet the teaching staff

The Art of Decision Making

27. - 28. Jun 2018
2 Days
2,400 €

Christoph Burger (Program Director)

Senior lecturer, ESMT Berlin

Christoph Burger is a senior lecturer at ESMT Berlin. Before joining ESMT, he worked five years in industry at Otto Versand and as vice president at the Bertelsmann Buch AG, five years at consulting practice Arthur D. Little, and five years as independent consultant focusing on private equity financing of SMEs.

His research focus is on long-term industry development, specifically in the energy sector/ innovation and decision making/ negotiation. He is author of the "ESMT Innovation Index – Electricity Supply Industry" and the book "The Decentralized Energy Revolution – Business Strategies for a New Paradigm". Christoph directs and teaches in open enrolment programs, customized programs in the energy, banking and aviation industry as well as programs for international senior executives such as the CKGSB CEO program or the supervisory board program for Deutsche Telekom. He also lectures for institutions such as Duke CE, ESCP or HEC and is a speaker in conferences of Wade, Cornwall Energy, Oxford Energy, Pennwell or Platts. He is a member of the jury of the greenTech awards, a mentor of the Startup Bootcamp and mentors MBA projects on new energy solutions.

Christoph studied business administration at the University of Saarbrücken (Germany), the Hochschule St. Gallen (Switzerland), and economics at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (USA).


Dr. Jens Weinmann

Program Director, ESMT Berlin

Before joining ESMT Berlin, Jens Weinmann was project manager of the Market Model Electric Mobility, a research project financed by the German environmental ministry (BMU). From 2007 to 2009, he worked as manager at the economic consultancy ESMT Competition Analysis. Further consulting experience includes projects with the Energy Markets Group at London Business School, Omega Partners London, and the World Energy Council.
He has taught master classes in environmental and resource economics at the HTW Berlin, statistics in the bachelor programs of the HWR Berlin School of Economics and Law, and was guest lecturer at Cambridge University and European Business School, London. He graduated in energy engineering (Dipl.-Ing.) at the TU Berlin and received his PhD from London Business School in Decision Sciences.

Jens Weinmann's research focus lies in the analysis of decision-making in regulation, competition policy, and innovation, with a special interest in energy and transport. His academic experience includes fellowships at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, and the Florence School of Regulation, European University Institute.