Decision Making

The Art of Decision Making

Combine rationality and intuition to achieve better decision-making processes

> Target audienceKey benefitsKey topicsMeet the staff

Today’s business leaders are increasingly forced to make quick decisions. Good managers instinctively set out to make reasoned, well-thought-out judgment calls, yet a rational approach to tackling decisions is only one side of the story. Too often, too much emphasis is placed on intuition, and personal biases begin to influence – and fatally flaw – the decision-making process. This process should be complemented with sound analysis.

The English language program The Art of Decision Making (DMA) looks at both sides of the equation. Practical experience is merged with up-to-date theoretical concepts. In addition to discussing case studies with an international peer group and a distinguished faculty and participating in individual and group exercises, participants will explore and tackle common decision-making challenges.

The German language alternative program is “Die Kunst der Entscheidungsfindung” (ENT).


Target audience

Managers and consultants who make pivotal decisions on issues affecting market entry, production site closures, products, investments, or personnel.


Key benefits

  • improve business performance by developing a deeper understanding of what drives effective versus ineffective decisions
  • learn to ask the right kinds of questions, use appropriate frameworks, and stop overanalyzing to avoid common decision traps
  • develop cooperative decision-making skills in situations where collaboration produces better results


Key topics

Making good decisions

  • Managing uncertainty
  • Evaluating alternatives
  • Valuing additional information

Understanding decision-making psychology

  • Identifying risk attitudes
  • Recognizing personal bias
  • Avoiding common pitfalls

Optimizing group processes

  • Combining individual knowledge and judgment
  • Aligning roles within group processes
  • Planning for organizational impact


“The faculty members were enthusiastic and incredibly knowledgeable, and the wide variety, backgrounds, and experiences of my fellow students added great value, too. All this set in beautiful surroundings with historical significance.”

Ruth Beadle, Senior Business & Development Analyst, Gazprom Marketing & Trading


Meet the teaching staff

Christoph Burger (Program Director)

Senior lecturer and senior associate dean of executive education, ESMT Berlin

Christoph Burger is a senior lecturer and senior associate dean of executive education at the ESMT Berlin. Before joining ESMT, he worked five years in industry at Otto Versand and as vice president at the Bertelsmann Buch AG, five years at consulting practice Arthur D. Little, and five years as independent consultant focusing on private equity financing of SMEs.

His research focus is on long-term industry development, specifically in the energy sector/ innovation and decision making/ negotiation. He is author of the "ESMT Innovation Index – Electricity Supply Industry" and the book "The Decentralized Energy Revolution – Business Strategies for a New Paradigm". Christoph directs and teaches in open enrolment programs, customized programs in the energy, banking and aviation industry as well as programs for international senior executives such as the CKGSB CEO program or the supervisory board program for Deutsche Telekom. He also lectures for institutions such as Duke CE, ESCP or HEC and is a speaker in conferences of Wade, Cornwall Energy, Oxford Energy, Pennwell or Platts. He is a member of the jury of the greenTech awards, a mentor of the Startup Bootcamp and mentors MBA projects on new energy solutions.

Christoph studied business administration at the University of Saarbrücken (Germany), the Hochschule St. Gallen (Switzerland), and economics at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (USA).


Dr. Jens Weinmann

Program Director, ESMT Berlin

Before joining ESMT Berlin, Jens Weinmann was project manager of the Market Model Electric Mobility, a research project financed by the German environmental ministry (BMU). From 2007 to 2009, he worked as manager at the economic consultancy ESMT Competition Analysis. Further consulting experience includes projects with the Energy Markets Group at London Business School, Omega Partners London, and the World Energy Council.
He has taught master classes in environmental and resource economics at the HTW Berlin, statistics in the bachelor programs of the HWR Berlin School of Economics and Law, and was guest lecturer at Cambridge University and European Business School, London. He graduated in energy engineering (Dipl.-Ing.) at the TU Berlin and received his PhD from London Business School in Decision Sciences.

Jens Weinmann's research focus lies in the analysis of decision-making in regulation, competition policy, and innovation, with a special interest in energy and transport. His academic experience includes fellowships at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, and the Florence School of Regulation, European University Institute.