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Leading Effective Decision-Making

Confront complex decisions with confidence, adjust decision velocity to the demands of the situation, and enable intelligent risk-taking.

Stepping into a leadership role means addressing pivotal decisions while contending with an ever-expanding range of considerations and managing a quickly shifting landscape. 

Leading Effective Decision-Making prepares executives to provide structure and clarity to uncertain situations, incorporate a broad range of perspectives and inputs to surface previously undiscovered options, evaluate those options in a systematic and data-driven way, assess potential risks, and balance risks and rewards to generate high-return decisions for their business. 

The result: participants will make pivotal decisions with structure and clarity, a broad range of perspectives, and the ability to balance risk and reward. Self-paced modules drive the course and are accompanied by three live sessions with Yale faculty. In addition, guest speaker Indra Nooyi’s work at PepsiCo is used as a case study throughout the program, and exclusive video discussions walk participants step-by-step through her decision-making process. 

The program is delivered online in collaboration with our online program partner, ExecOnline. ExecOnline provides a digital learning solution tailored to best deliver Yale’s research and expertise.

Two men doing remote work on their laptops in Evans Hall.
Man listening to lecture.
Woman working remotely on her laptop.

Taking the time to think through how decisions are made and should be made was interesting. This program caused me to really consider how to incorporate different perspectives into my decision-making.

About the Program

  • Broaden perspective while making difficult trade-offs. 
  • Swiftly and effectively approach gaps in knowledge and expertise. 
  • Scale efforts to accommodate the scope of the issue, as well as time/resource constraints. 
  • Structure solutions to avoid over-committing, support progress today, and leave options open tomorrow as the organization learns more. 
  • Recognize how natural psychological tendencies and emotional influences revealed by science of behavioral economics can derail decisions. 
  • 6-week duration, 30 hours to complete requirements 
  • 6 hours of on-demand, HD lectures 
  • Professor interactions, group learning 
  • Final project, which integrates weekly activities 

This course is designed for managers, directors, VPs, and C-suite—with the drive and desire to solve their organization’s critical business challenges. 


Paul Bracken
Paul Bracken

Professor of Management & Professor of Political Science

Areas of Expertise: Business War Gaming, Global Corporate Strategy, National Security & International Order, Technology Strategy

Paul Bracken is a professor of management and political science at Yale University. Bracken is a respected thought leader in global competition and the strategic application of technology in business and defense. His research and teaching focus on solutions for senior management as it deals with a changing strategic environment and conditions of intense uncertainty. He is a leading teacher in executive education and has run many programs for companies in finance, technology, retail, and health care. He is also a frequent teacher at One Day University on topics such as Problem Framing in Business, the Future of the Corporation, Big Business and Democracy, and the Second Nuclear Age.

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Daylian Cain
Daylian Cain

Senior Lecturer in Negotiations & Leadership

Areas of Expertise: Behavioral Economics, Conflicts of Interest, Corporate Governance, Ethics, Leadership, Negotiations, Organizational Behavior, Social Enterprise

Daylian M. Cain, Ph.D., is a Senior Lecturer of Negotiations & Leadership at the Yale School of Management. Prior to joining Yale in 2007, Cain was the Russell Sage Fellow of Behavioral Economics at Harvard. Originally hailing from Nova Scotia, Cain is a former Canada science scholar. He has three master’s degrees and —from Carnegie Mellon— a Ph.D. in Business. He likes to say that he focuses on “why smart people do dumb things.”

Fun Facts: Cain has appeared as a special guest on National Geographic’s TV show Brain Games, and his poker avatar (“Raising Cain”) is one of the opponents you may face at

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Nathan Novemsky
Nathan Novemsky

Professor of Marketing

Areas of Expertise: Advertising, Behavioral Economics, Behavioral Science, Consumer Behavior, Decision-making, Marketing

Nathan Novemsky is Professor of Marketing in the Yale School of Management and has an appointment as Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychology at Yale University. He joined the Yale faculty in 2000 after receiving his Ph.D. in Psychology from Princeton University. He is an expert in the psychology of judgment and decision-making, an area that overlaps heavily with behavioral economics and consumer behavior. He examines whether and how people know what they like, how the framing of decisions affects the choices people make, how individuals’ goals influence their behavior as well as other topics in judgment and decision-making.

He is an active member of the Yale Center for Customer Insights. As part of the Center, he actively partners with practitioners (including Visa, Pepsico, Google, Optum Health, Proctor and Gamble, American Express, TIAA-Cref, Metlife, and many others) to develop new insights into customer behavior that are both relevant to practitioners and new to the academic literature.

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Guest Speaker

Indra Nooyi

Indra Nooyi

For a dozen years as chairman and CEO of PepsiCo, Indra Nooyi was one of the world’s most admired business leaders. The first woman of color and immigrant to lead a Fortune 50 company, she transformed the company with a long-term vision, vigorous pursuit of excellence and a deep sense or purpose. Indra is a revered role model who has long spoken up about women, equity, inclusion and evolving the global economy to support families. My Life in Full: Work, Family, and Our Future is her first book.

Indra was born in Madras (Chennai), Tamil Nadu, India, and grew up in a close family with two siblings, her parents and her grandparents. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Madras Christian College and an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta. She began her business career at the textile firm Mettur Beardsell in Madras and as a product manager at Johnson & Johnson in Bombay.

In 1978, Indra received a scholarship to attend Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, where she earned a master’s degree in public and private management. She then joined Boston Consulting Group (BCG) as a strategy consultant and, from 1986 to 1994, worked at Motorola and ABB leading corporate strategy and planning departments.

Indra entered the executive suite at PepsiCo in 1994 and became CFO and then president of the company in 2000. She joined the board of directors in 2001 and, five years later, was named chairman and chief executive officer. Leading PepsiCo, Indra was the architect of Performance with Purpose, the company’s pledge to make healthier and more nutritious products, limit the company’s environmental footprint, and empower its associates and people in the communities it serves. At the same time, the company’s revenue grew 80 percent and market capitalization grew by $57 billion.

Indra is now a member of the board of Amazon, where she chairs the audit committee. She sits on the supervisory board of Philips, where she is also a member of the nominating and corporate governance committee. She is a member of the International Advisory Council of Temasek; an independent director of the International Cricket Council; and a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. She is on the Dean’s Advisory Council at MIT’s School of Engineering, and a member of the MIT Corporation. She also serves on the boards of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and the Partnership for Public Service. In 2021, Indra became an elected member of the American Philosophical Society and a trustee of the National Gallery of Art. She was also inducted into the Asian Hall of Fame and National Women’s Hall of Fame.

She is married to Raj Nooyi and has two daughters, Preetha and Tara.

Registration Information

Program Details

Orientation begins: June 28, 2024
Program starts: July 08, 2024

The program is delivered digitally in collaboration with our online program collaborator, ExecOnline.

Have questions about the program? Contact Joanne Legler, Yale Executive Education’s Senior Director of Learning Partnerships.


“Overall, I thought the content was easy to absorb and it applies to really any line of business. I enjoyed the live modules because putting it into practice with the professors there to help steer you back in the right direction is valuable and helps you mold what you have learned and apply it more effectively.” - Insurance Company 

“I enjoy the lectures and the live classes. I take a lot from them that I can apply to my everyday decision making and really appreciate the perspective they bring.” - Insurance Company 

“I'm really enjoying the lessons learned via the lecture content - really great real world examples.” - Beverage Company 

“The program is helping me to rethink some previous, unrealized decision bias and find other potential outcomes for my challenge, which is brilliant. Thanks!” - Computer Software Company 

“I'm enjoying the in-depth information around how to tackle (select, reframe, etc.) large and impactful decisions. The course content and professors are excellent, and I really enjoy the self-paced approach.” - Management Consulting Company 

“This was markedly different from any other MOOC or online class. The bite-sized modules were an excellent vehicle to convey the big ideas of each module, and give the student time to let it digest. Sitting for an extended period of time online and attempting to digest it is so hard (dare say not really possible).” - Healthcare Company 

“Taking the time to think through how decisions are/can be/should be made was interesting. This program caused me to really consider how to incorporate different perspectives into my decision-making. I liked the tips on group decisions and how to get the most out of them without introducing my own bias or intuition before the process even starts for others. Examples provided, especially by Prof Cain, I think were practical and down to earth. The points on experimentation made a lot of sense.” - Mobile Telecommunications Company 

“I enjoyed the self-paced learning and the content of the videos. The live sessions were really good and the professors were great to chat with.” - Automotive Company 

“I liked the variety of perspectives from the different professors and the ways in which my gut-feel instincts were challenged.” - Mobile Telecommunications Company 

“I loved hearing about decision-making tips from the three professors. Each had their own way to present. I enjoyed each and how they connected in the live sessions.” - Consumer Services Company 

Program Collaborator

ExecOnline logo

Established in 2012, ExecOnline’s mission is to connect all leaders to their future potential. ExecOnline partners with top business schools to create an online leadership development solution that solves critical business challenges and delivers measurable business and financial impact. Read more about ExecOnline.