Finding Solutions to Unstructured Problems

Finding Solutions To Unstructured Business Problems

What You Will Learn

  • Improve response to business problems by targeting root causes
    rather than symptoms.
  • Perform quantitative and qualitative analyses to determine how
    alternatives measure up against criteria, and use results to arrive
    at an optimal decision.
  • Develop timelines and resource plans, estimate costs, and
    identify relevant considerations that will be required to ensure the
    success of the selected solution.

What You Will Do

  • Understand differences between structured and unstructured problems.
  • Apply the IESE Six-Step Process For Solving Unstructured
  • Develop strategies to handle personal attitudes, opinions, and
    ethical questions that arise in decision-making exercises.
  • Understand the importance of researching and testing assumptions
    in order to develop a realistic action plan.


Many problems encountered in business today have no straightforward solution, yet leaders must be equal to the task of resolving them. This course teaches a systematic, logical approach to problem-solving and decision-making designed to boost your leaders’ performance.  Analysis of Business Problems is based on a popular course at IESE Business School—one of the top-ranked institutions in the world—and taught by Mike Rosenberg, an IESE professor of strategic management.

Participants learn a proven strategic methodology—the Six-Step Process of Solving Unstructured Problems—to analyze a variety of challenges, including their own company’s initiatives. They identify when the decision-making process is stalled by “analysis paralysis”, and discover how to handle personal attitudes and opinions that affect resolution. They also find out how to develop timelines and resource plans, estimate costs, and identify all relevant considerations for achieving the best possible outcome.

Course Outline

  1. Managers Solve Problems
    • What Do Managers Do?
    • The Six-Step Process for Resolving Unstructured Problems
    • What Kind of Decision Maker Are You Today?
    • An Unstructured Problem You are Facing
  2. Intermarket Technology: An Unstructured Problem
    • Introduction to Intermarket Technology
    • How Would You Approach Intermarket Technology?
    • Defining a Solution for Your Own Unstructured Problem
  3. Morgan Components: A Complex Unstructured Problem
    • Introduction to Morgan Components
    • Working Together to Define Morgan Components’ Difficult Problem
    • Revisiting Your Unstructured Problem
  4. Analyzing Morgan Components
    • Possible Alternatives for Morgan Components
    • Analyzing Alternatives for Morgan Components
    • Making a Decision: Morgan Components
  5. Tackling Your Own Unstructured Problem
    • Addressing Your Unstructured Problem
    • Preparing to Present Your Unstructured Problem
    • Finalizing Your Presentation
    • Collaborating on Unstructured Problems

Additional Material