Business Problem Solving and Decision Making


In the fast-paced world of business, there is a constant need to make decisions quickly and often. Taking the right course of action in the face of any challenge or improving the level of quality we provide to our customers requires the development of a core set of skills. This program introduces models for problem solving and decision-making (PSDM) that enable participants to identify their best course of action. This seminar involves participants in identifying and tackling real challenges that they face in their team, work group, department, or organization.Each participant will receive a copy of the PSDM Toolkit – a comprehensive workbook that offers tips in how to use more than a dozen powerful tools that will enable more effective problem solving and decision making.By the end of the day, those attending this seminar will leave with a renewed confidence in their PSDM abilities and a new set of tools for tackling the daily business challenges that they face.

You will learn:

  • Discuss the four approaches to consider when solving a problem or making a decision
  • Identify the core principles that should guide their business decision-making and problem solving
  • Apply two seven step models for solving problems and making decisions
  • Identify the hidden psychological traps that, if they aren’t careful, are likely to undermine their problem solving and decision making
  • Practice a variety of simple yet powerful PSDM tools that they can use when defining a problem, exploring root causes, evaluating possible solutions, and involving others in the problem solving and decision-making process.

Audience: Business owners, managers, supervisors, project managers, team leaders, and anyone else in the company who is charged with making difficult decisions and solving everyday business problems (e.g., cost overruns, low customer satisfaction, low product quality, high employee turnover, etc.).


Location: Grainger Hall, UW-Madison

Schedule: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm

Dates: February 25, 2020

Fee: $259

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This Program is preapproved for SHRM recertification



Registration policy: Payment will be required at time of registration. You must have either a credit card or valid UW-Madison funding string to be able to register.

Cancellation policy: If you cancel before the program begins, there is a $25 cancellation fee. If you cancel after the program begins you will be charged for the full program fee. To cancel, call registration at 608-262-3909. If there is inclement weather, please call 608-263-2221 for a recorded message after 6:30 am for day classes or after 3:30 pm for night classes.

Disability Statement: Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. Contact the UW-Madison SBDC office at to request accommodations.



SBDC instructor Jeff RussellJeff Russell

Jeff Russell, (MS, UW-Madison) co-director of Russell Consulting, Inc., specializes in helping organizations achieve their goals by successfully responding to the challenges of continuous change. With a focus on leadership, strategic thinking, leading change, and performance coaching, Jeff has guided organizations as diverse as Fortune 500 firms, social and public sector organizations, and small family businesses toward their goals. Jeff received his Masters Degree in Industrial Relations from the UW-Madison where he serves as an ad hoc faculty member for the Small Business Development Center. Jeff also is an adjunct faculty member for UW-Milwaukee, UW-Green Bay, and UW-Colleges.

Jeff and his wife and business partner Linda have co-authored eight books. Recent publications include: Managing the Problem Employee, Leading Change Training, Strategic Planning Training, Change Basics, Strategic Planning 101, and, most recently, Ultimate Performance Management, (ASTD Press, 2009). For more information on Jeff and his work, visit Russell Consulting, Inc.’s website at