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Program Overview

Wise judgment and effective decision-making have always been essential skills for leaders across all professional settings. Today, leaders have access to mountains of data from myriad sources. The question is, how can they leverage this abundance of information to make smarter decisions?

Leadership Decision Making  features hands-on learning experiences that help leaders like you improve decision analysis and leadership effectiveness. Led by Faculty Chair Jennifer Lerner, this intensive program will give you the tools to recognize biases in judgment that affect even the most intelligent individuals and to incorporate structured decision-making techniques empirically shown to enhance decision making. You'll also receive customized, confidential feedback on your decision-making style.


Program Curriculum

Drawing on theories and evidence from psychology, behavioral economics, and neuroscience, Leadership Decision Making presents cutting-edge research and translates scientific discoveries into practical strategies through live lectures, asynchronous materials, and group work. In addition to Faculty Chair Jennifer Lerner’s expertise in decision science and management, this program features world-renowned Harvard faculty and experts as guest speakers.

Learning Objectives

The curriculum focuses on key areas that drive organizational performance, including:

  • Reducing decision biases in your organization
  • Communicating risk accurately and effectively
  • Increasing prediction accuracy, especially for low-probability, potentially catastrophic events
  • Understanding the role of emotion in judgment and decision making
  • Designing smart accountability systems for judgment and decision making
  • Leading positive change
  • Harnessing the power of experiments to catalyze organizational learning

Application Information

Recommended Applicants
Program Schedules

Access a sample online program schedule.

Access a sample on-campus program schedule.

Online VS On-Campus Schedule
The on-campus program is an immersive and intense learning experience on Harvard’s historic Cambridge campus. During the week, you’ll experience lectures firsthand and connect with peers both in and outside of the classroom. Access a sample on-campus program schedule.
The online program is delivered over the course of two weeks, and it provides a more flexible format where you can apply concepts directly to your work while experiencing the rigor of Harvard remotely. Access a sample online program schedule. The interactive online curriculum is conducted through a mix of live faculty-led sessions and asynchronous work, including:

  • Live Faculty-led sessions will run Mon - Fri from 9:00 am ET – 12:00 pm ET time, with the exception of the second Tuesday of the program when class will start at 8:30am ET and end at 12:30pm ET time.
  • Pre-program readings: Participants will be expected to spend approximately one hour preparing before the program begins and approximately two hours of independent work daily once the program is underway.
  • A 1-hour Onboarding Session (week prior) 
  • Optional Daily virtual networking before and after class: 8:30am-9:00am ET and 12:00-12:30pm ET

"The best executive learning experience I have had. It gave me many new tools on how to create and apply decision frameworks to the complex problems I deal with at work, and how to recognize and correct for cognitive biases in myself and others."


Hear from the Faculty Chair

HKS Faculty Chair Jenn Lerner discusses the Harvard Kennedy School Executive Program Leadership Decision Making (Online)

Faculty & Research

Faculty Chair
Jennifer Lerner Photo

Jennifer Lerner

Thornton Bradshaw Professor of Public Policy, Decision Science, and Management
Harvard Faculty and Guest Speakers
Julia Minson Photo

Julia Minson

Associate Professor of Public Policy
Todd Rogers Photo

Todd Rogers

Professor of Public Policy
Dan Shapiro

Daniel Shapiro

Founder and Director, Harvard International Negotiation Program
Associate Professor of Psychology, Harvard Medical School/McLean Hospital
Affiliate faculty, Program on Negotiation

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