Open Program

Strategic Decisions

Learn to evaluate strategy, generate options and, make better decisions.

This practical, interactive five-day program will improve the quality of your strategic decision-making.

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Strategic Decisions

Upcoming Dates

14 Nov 2016 - 18 Nov 2016

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13 Mar 2017 - 17 Mar 2017

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26 Jun 2017 - 30 Jun 2017

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13 Nov 2017 - 17 Nov 2017

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Program Overview

Strategic Decisions will give you the tools and practical experience for dealing with analytical and process challenges. It will:

  • Help you understand the difference between strategic and operational thinking
  • Enable you to decide which tools to use for developing strategy
  • Equip you with the techniques for managing the decision-making process
  • Give you essential tips and alert you to the pitfalls in making strategic decisions

You can either participate in the full five-day program or you can split it into two parts: the two-day Strategy Tools program and the three-day Formulating Strategy program.

Content and Structure


Three weeks before the program starts, you will receive pre-program reading and videos.

Residential Phase

Over five days the program splits into two parts – tools and processes. Each part explores a specific decision-making issue.


During the first two days you will consider a range of topics based on a six step process for designing a strategy. The process comes from from Jo Whitehead’s book What you Need to Know about Strategy.

For each question a range of tools and frameworks are presented that help structure analysis and spark debate to come up with answers. You will also consider how to structure the strategy process in different ways to suit the situation.


The following three days deal with the human side of strategy bias. This thinking is drawn from original Ashridge research into decision-making, as captured in the book Think Again: Why Good Leaders Make Bad Decisions and How to Keep It from Happening to You.

You will also learn how to design and lead a successful strategy process, using the team and reframing to achieve breakthrough solutions.  A film about the Cuban Missile Crisis is used to bring decision-making to life.

The program finishes with a day-long simulation of a decision process in which you can feel first-hand the pressures and strains inherent in making strategic decisions.

View an example program timetable


Tutors will facilitate a virtual follow-up session for the group six weeks after the residential phase. This will allow you and the other participants in the group to review your actions and support you all to make further progress.

You will become a member of the Ashridge Alumni network which is an excellent opportunity to continue your personal development and networking.

You are also given continued access to your online program portal and Virtual Ashridge content for six months after your residential stay. Ongoing support and further learning opportunities are available with Ashridge Momentum.

Related content

View related programs  The Ashridge experience Customize this program 

This program is a module of our Advanced Management Program.

All Ashridge Open Programs are taught in English, find out how we can help you to improve your English.

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Paricipant feedback

“Very enjoyable course. Great to meet other managers in a small group. Teaching was exellent. Pre-reading text was very helpful.”

Philip Luke, Director, Royal Devon & Exeter Foundation Trust.

“More than happy with all aspects. Very well run and delivered. Will not hesitate to recommend.”

Shaun Deacon, Head of Arrears Management, Santander Consumer Finance.

“I got a structured approach to help improve my decision making and some great insights into how decisions are made.”

Phil Moore, Regional Manager, Operations and Sales, Gamestation.

“I have ticked the 5 box on most questions. This is not through laziness – I have genuinely found this course to be outstanding – I would recommend it to anyone with strategic decisions to make.”

Martin Prendergast, Arts Manager, Guardian Newspapers. 

Program fee

Price: £5,900.00 + VAT
What is included in your open program fee?
Download our brochure /executive-organisation-development/open-programmes/strategic-decisions/stdc-form/

Who is it for?

Managers involved in making strategic decisions, either in a general management position or functional role. Anyone who wants to understand the theory and practice of analysing and evaluating strategic decisions will benefit from participating in this program. As will those already in a strategic role or moving into one.

Benefits to you and your organization

The program gives participants a thorough grasp of modern concepts of strategy analysis. In practice, however, the final decision is often heavily influenced by the process used to arrive at the decision, the way managers deal with uncertainty, and the internal politics and power groupings in your organisation. Strategic Decisions will therefore also help managers to handle the process of decision-making.

Participating in challenging role-plays and case studies during the program will bring greater clarity to your thinking. It will enable you to take the lead and make better decisions.

Faculty Team

Stephen Bungay

Stephen Bungay

MA, DPhil (Oxon)

Read more about Stephen

Jo Whitehead

Jo Whitehead


Read more about Jo

Rebecca Homkes

Rebecca Homkes

MSc, PhD

Read more about Rebecca