November 4, 2015

Larry Hirschhorn delivers the Annual Richard Normann Memorial Lecture at Green Templeton College of Oxofrd University.


In his summative work, Reframing business: When the map changes the landscape, Richard Normann highlights the subjective elements of decision- making.


In this presentation Larry Hirschhorn explores the dynamics of this mental process; how cognition, emotion and group dynamics shape the decisions executives make to reorient their businesses. This focus on the mental  is fundamental to understanding business decision making because, as many consultants have learned to their sorrow, presenting the most suitable strategy  to an executive team in the most effective possible manner may not persuade them to make any change to their current practices and strategies. We can't treat the decision making process itself as a black box any longer.

In this lecture Larry will explore such issues as:

♦ The difference in emotional meaning between crises and opportunities

♦ The distinction between ambiguity and uncertainty

♦ Under what conditions do companies drift rather than develop

♦ What role regret and the experience of loss play in decision making

♦ The Achilles heel of two methods for arriving at a strategy; negotiating between different interests groups, and subordinating to a leader's vision

♦ How strategic changes are framed by reversing "figure and ground" in the perceptive field

♦ The interplay of passion and politics in strategy formation and execution

♦ The role of a wider cultural narrative in shaping strategy formation.


The lecture will draw on both his own consulting experiences as well as public case studies.

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