Finding the balance

"It’s about understanding the balance - between intuition and analytical thinking."

Nicole Sheffield

Executive General Manager Community & Consumer at Australia Post
Participant on Decision Making Strategies for Leaders

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Learning from the best

"Amongst a group of really strong faculty, I have to say that Sir Andrew Likierman stands out as a true legend."

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Exploring impactful decision-making

"I decided to enrol in an executive education programme partly because it had been such a long time since I’d done my Masters Degree (I hold a business degree from the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia). I’ve held a number of leadership roles since - in print, broadcast and digital media, and was looking to stretch my skills. I’d heard great things about London Business School from other alumni who’d attended programmes there, and when I came across the Decision Making Strategies programme, I knew it would offer the balance between theory and practice that I wanted.  

I run a multi-billion dollar retail business at Australia Post; as such, I’m responsible for delivering big and small strategic and operational business that will drive growth. Decision-making is key. And while some people might expect it to be the big decisions that keep me awake at night, actually it’s the day-to-day small decisions that often end up having the most impact. So finding a programme that would help me find new ways to develop and strengthen my decision-making capabilities was exciting.

The teaching throughout the Decision Making Strategies programme is exceptional. It’s a very intense experience - just a week long – so the days are lengthy and challenging. But I loved it and it was certainly never boring. A lot of learning focuses on case studies so all the theory that I took on board was brought to life almost immediately.

Amongst a group of really strong faculty, I have to say that Sir Andrew Likierman stands out as a true legend. His input as guest speaker – he’s a former Dean of LBS and a Professor of Management Practice in Accounting - was exceptional. Everything was made relevant and interesting; he drew on his long experience working in both the public and private sector, so his teaching and classes had a deeply practical focus.

It’s not just the faculty you learn from on a programme like this one, though. My cohort was fantastic. I found myself learning alongside a mix of ambitious and dynamic multinationals representing a wide cross-section of industry, government departments, banks, media and retailers. Engaging with classmates of this calibre was inspiring. It added a huge amount to class discussions and taught me different ways to approach my decision-making techniques.

It’s hard to say what’s been most useful, but I really valued the behavioural insights I gained from the programme - understanding why people make different decisions and the impact that these same decisions have. I use the nudge suggestion - positive reinforcement and indirect suggestion as a way of influencing behaviour and decision-making – on a daily basis now. Being able to identify why people make the decisions they do, and say what they do, is fascinating.

The pace of change in business today is incredible. Our ability to make informed decisions quickly and in a way that supports the development of high performing teams is critical. For me, this works best when group thinking is involved, but it’s about understanding the balance between relying on fast thinking intuition versus more considered, analytical thinking. Getting that balance right is so important in the world right now.

The Decision Making Strategies programme made me fall in love with study all over again. I look forward to engaging in more education courses over the next few years."

Making an impact

"It’s actually the day-to-day small decisions that often end up having the most impact."

Decision Making Strategies for Leaders

Great leaders are decisive. Get the skills, knowledge and experience to make sound decisions in a complex and fast-paced environment.