Agribusiness Seminar Focuses On Strategic Decision Making

A three-day Purdue University seminar will help farm and agribusiness managers and company leaders make strategic decisions for their businesses in what have become turbulent economic times.

“Structuring Decisions: Innovating Through Turbulence” will be held Sept. 14-16 at Purdue’s West Lafayette campus, and attendees will develop a structured approach to making strategic decisions that help foster innovation and manage uncertainty. The program also will focus on introducing and illustrating tools that allow participants to analyze problems at their own companies and in the industry.

Allan Gray, director of Purdue’s Center for Food and Agricultural Business, and Mike Boehlje, Purdue Extension agricultural economist, will lead the program, which will highlight taking a more reasoned, systematic approach to decision making and mitigating downside risk, common psychological traps, capitalizing the value of time while minimizing the opportunity for appropriate choices, understanding how to frame multiple alternative futures, and discovering techniques to maintain current business while driving future growth.

“Almost everyone I run into says that turbulence and uncertainty is increasing, and their decisions become tougher and more complicated all the time,” Gray says. “This program really helps managers learn how to weed out the noise and get down to the business of making a decision.”

Participants will have the option to develop a personal case study and apply some of the tools presented in the classroom to a specific business-related decision. They also will have the opportunity to interact one-on-one with faculty instructors and discuss any questions about decision-making tools.

Gray and Boehlje will use an agribusiness case study to highlight the following sessions:

  • “Framework for Decision Making,” which focuses on defining the problem, setting objectives, considering alternatives, describing consequences and identifying tradeoffs.
  • “Tools for Effective Decision Making,” which will help participants identify sources of uncertainty and alternative consequences; outline critical variables and frame the decision; define potential outcomes in financial terms; make first choices, identify gaps and gather more information; and utilize managerial flexibility in decision making.
  • “Implementing the Decision,” focusing on learning from failure, knowing when to kill a project and aligning resources and avoiding traps in decision making.

Registration is $2,395 per person and will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Once the program is full, names will be added to a waiting list in the order received. Registration fees include all program materials, refreshments and some meals.

(Source: Ag Answers)

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