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Session Title: Decisions fast and slow
Speaker: Peter D. Lucash, Professor of Practice, Northeastern University

Session description: All human action is a result of human choice. This presentation examines how Founder-CEOs of entrepreneurial organizations make decisions in “real life”. Decisions are actions that move the organization – this is what leaders “do”. In entrepreneurial companies, all decisions are precedent-setting as these are nascent organizations that do not have the history of policies and procedures that can be applied. In this presentation, I challenge the classic decision-making model and present the findings of my dissertation research. Naturalistic Decision-Making (NDM) (Klein, 1993) is a theory that I describe as an “accelerated” classic model. In the situations examined, the Founder-CEOs “recognized” a situation and the concurrent options – and implemented the “best” one - while simultaneously seeking new information from the implementation to make adjustments. Based on my research examining how Founder-CEOs experience operational decision-making in their growth stages, this presentation shows how to make decisions deliberately and quickly. Two real-life scenarios are examples of this model in action: 1. The 1983 erroneous alert in the Air Defense Command Center of the Soviet Union that five ICBM missiles were heading towards the Soviet Union. The commanding officer did not believe the alert and did not call his superiors; “why only five?” he reported having been thinking. 2. The decisions by US Airways Capt. Sullenberger when the aircraft he was flying had a complete engine failure shortly after takeoff from LaGuardia Airport. His choice among four poor options resulted in a water landing with no loss of life. Finally, practices leaders can implement to position themselves to make decisions deliberately and quickly in their day to day work.

Bio: Peter D. Lucash is a professor, speaker and consultant working with businesses and other organizations to meet the challenges of the 4th Industrial Revolution. Building on his business experience, Peter has shifted his work to teaching, training and speaking. He is currently a Professor of the Practice at Northeastern University, where he teaches undergraduate management, entrepreneurship and leadership courses. He is also an adjunct instructor for Washington State University (e-MBA program) and the College of Charleston. Over his career, Peter has worked with a number of companies and industries on strategy, innovation and business development. His background is in the healthcare industry in senior leadership positions in teaching hospitals, consulting firms, and medical practices. Academically, Peter earned his BA in Politics from NYU, an MBA and MPH in healthcare management from Columbia University, and his doctorate in organizational leadership studies from Northeastern University. His research, teaching and training interests and work are in entrepreneurial leadership, the new world of business and the Reset Economy, and innovation. Peter is the author of two books, “Medical Practice Change Management” (McGraw-Hill, 2007) and “Medical Practice Business Plan Workbook (Productivity Press, 2011). Peter heads his own company, Digital CPE, as an entity for his personal speaking, training and advisory work. His current business activities are as CEO of BioPharma Connex and Senior Advisor for Recruitment Partners, LLC, companies that work with pharmaceutical companies in developing alternative sites for clinical research in Alzheimer’s and dementia.