Through the years, I have notoriously told my children, “Life is full of big decisions, and this is not one” as they would deliberate what outfit to buy at a store or what item to order from the menu at a restaurant. So it’s somewhat ironic that much of my work as a business coach and consultant today revolves around helping business leaders make sound decisions when confronted with a variety of murky choices. This becomes even more complex if a variety of stakeholders with sometimes competing perspectives are involved in making a collaborative decision.

Given my experiences of facilitating both my (now grown) children as well as professionals, coupled with my business process excellence training at GE and my graduate education in administrative decision making thanks to a graduate course taught by Larry Starr, I am well versed in quite a few decision-making tools and processes with which I will not bore you at this time. (Best handled in person over coffee or a cold brew.)

Until a few hours ago, I was quite happy with my approach, and I suppose I could muddle through for the rest of my life with my primitive white board and tablet techniques if I had to. But I don’t! Thanks to meeting Lawrence Shaw recently, I was introduced to an amazing new technology, the Winshaw® Decision Management System. Lawrence demoed it for me earlier today.

The Winshaw® Decision Management System is a cloud-based collaborative decision-making framework that helps the decision maker or facilitator:

  1. Define business objectives tied to decisions
  2. Determine the criteria that are to be used in decisions
  3. Collect and score the input from stakeholders in the decision process
  4. Analyze and report decisions
  5. Visually and statistically model a range of “what if” scenarios to assess alternatives

At the risk of sounding like an infomercial – and that’s not all! — this resource can also be used to facilitate group consensus around business objectives, the criteria to be used in making decisions, and the weighting of criteria in the decision process. It’s fantastic!

So should I panic that my bag of goodies might be replaced by the Winshaw Matrix?

Not in the least. Recently I was listening to an NPR segment on the “coming AI and robot apocalypse” that has both knowledge workers and physical laborers fearing for their future employment. ( – relevant section starts at 3:08)

Heidi Shierholz, Senior Economist and Director of Policy, Economic Policy Institute,  points out that improvements in worker productivity are now at a post-World War II low. Robots improve our productivity, she says, and if you lose your job to a robot there is better work out there for you.

In this spirit, I see The Winshaw Matrix as a valuable resource for me as a business coach and consultant. It will make me smarter, faster and more valuable to my clients. Now back to mastering this tool and then on to sharing it with my professional colleagues.

If you would like more on my perspective, please let me know. You can watch a video overview from Lawrence here: or learn more about Lawrence on Linkedin.

Business Decision Making