How would Napoleon Bonaparte, Lord Marlborough, Lord Nelson, Winston Churchill or even Alexander the Great view the current situation with North Korea, Iran or Russia? How would these leaders of centuries and millennia past propose to handle these matters of current day?
The project evaluates decision making in business, government, international organizations and military, through a study of real events, the decisions that were made and their outcomes. The goal of this study is to offer a deep level of insight into how critical decisions are made, the people involved and the forces that influence these decisions.
It is intended to offer a practical toolkit for business leaders, management executives as well as those involved in public policy at national and international levels to improve their own strategic decision making capabilities as well as those of their organizations.
This work also aims to offer academic organizations, strategic advisory firms and think tanks a mechanism for better understanding (and critiquing) current practices by leaders and those of organizations, as well as a unique historical perspective into facets of people and organizations that often go unexamined, as the actions and outcomes are generally the primary focus, less so the intricacies of the decision making process itself.
The research reviews decisions through an analysis of historical material as well as interviews, where possible. Starting in ancient Macedonia, through the Napoleonic era, to modern day, it will cover vast periods and focus on key strategic decisions.
The focus, through a case study approach, will be on strategic decisions, civilian (government, corporate, humanitarian) as well as military, of high impact and consequence. These strategic decisions are ones that impacted (or could have impacted) the lives and livelihood of tens of thousands or more and that have great resource implications (tens of millions of dollars or more).
The analysis applies a consistent method for evaluating the decisions within the events, allowing to compare, contrast as well as to critique on common ground. This method (Strategic Decision Making Assessment Tool) was developed by the principal author while at Cambridge University.
As it is impossible (and unnecessary) to try and cover all strategic decisions over all periods of time in a single work product, this effort is seen as a continuous initiative that will evolve over time by adding more case studies as well as refining and deepening the evaluation metrics.