Tools & Services

Powered by the AREA Method

Cheryl Einhorn’s advice is thoughtful, creative and valuable. She is effective and strategic in how she thinks about my work and growing my business. She is a pleasure to work with.

Tony Blair, Former Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

It's always been amazing to me that many seemingly intelligent people have trouble thinking clearly. Their thoughts get turned into a plate of spaghetti. Here's to hoping they read your book.

Warren Buffett (A lovely comment from Warren Buffett after reading Problem Solved)

Training Sessions & Workshops

Content Overview:

Sessions and workshops teach and train participants in complex problem solving and related skills using real-world case studies and examples. Content is both off-the-shelf and customized for client’s needs. The curriculum varies in number of sessions and in length. Sessions have served groups of all sizes and seniority from small nonprofits based in India to global banks such as Goldman Sachs. AREA evaluations demonstrate an increase in participant self-awareness, recognition of the need for a relational and collaborative process to solve problems for holistic decision-making and an increase in confidence related to those skills.

Outcomes:

  • Complex problem skill building;
  • Skills to boost positive culture, inclusion and collaboration;
  • Ability to clarify goals and align around success metrics;
  • Ability to check and challenge biases;
  • Participants are able to demonstrate an awareness of cognitive biases;
  • Decision skills

Below is one sample curriculum used for Credit Suisse, a leading global financial services company.

  • Session Topic: Decision-Making Professional Development
  • Session 1: Increasing Confidence in Decision-Making
  • Session 2: Decision-Making Archetypes
  • Session 3: Combating Cognitive Bias Assumption & Judgement
  • Session 4: Breaking Down and Framing Complex Problems
  • Session 5: Increasing Problem Solving Skills
  • Session 6: Strengthening Key Relationships: Internal and External
  • Session 7: Managing Competing Priorities
  • Session 8: Communicating Your Results
  • Session 9: Strategies for Managing Your Career Remotely
  • Session 10: Time Management and Productivity

Executive Coaching

Content Overview

AREA coaching is a client-driven process that specifically focuses on the need of the individual, team or organization. We provide complex problem solving skills and assistance with inclusive decision-making. The length of time, frequency in sessions and types of decisions is flexible and the AREA team customizes each approach. Coaching clients have come with a wide variety of problems to solve ranging from professional decisions about how to start, expand or transition a business to personal decisions such as articulating values to identify future goals. AREA evaluations demonstrate a reported increase in clients’ sense of agency, confidence and conviction that they can take on and solve challenges in the future

Outcomes:

  • Clients solve a complex problem of their choosing;
  • Clients develop complex problem solving skills;
  • Clients identify and expand their network related to the problem they are solving;
  • Clients are able to act on their decision with confidence and conviction

Digital Decision Tools

Content Overview

Decisive modules digitally provide users with both skills and assistance to solve complex problems on their own. The modules are online, fully mobile-enabled and offer practical tips and AREA tools. They may be used individually or together, self guided or facilitated. These modules are appropriate for all ages. AREA Method evaluations demonstrate that they’ve been successful with audiences ranging from high school students using them for career and college decisions to executives at global banks.

Outcomes:

  • A profile of your decision-making approach;
  • An assessment of your decision-making strengths and cognitive biases;
  • Tips for bolstering strengths and limiting biases;
  • A deeper understanding of other decision approaches;
  • A guide for collaborative decision-making;
  • AREA tools for framing and breaking down complex problems;
  • Exercises to thwart bias, assumption judgment and preconceived notions

Speeches & Presentations

Content Overview:

Speeches and presentations discuss complex problem solving and case studies related to both personal and professional decisions. An extensive list of speeches and presentations can be found on the Media page. Topics vary widely based on the audience. They range from Tackling Known Unknowns for the Ben Graham Value Investing Conference to New Year’s Resolution decisions for Columbia University to Promoting Democracy for the US State Department in Turkey. AREA evaluations report an increase in participant feelings of agency and awareness for their problem solving and that a process exists for end-to-end decision-making.

Outcomes:

  • Exposure to the AREA method and a case study;
  • Practical preparation for solving complex problems focused on a vision of success;
  • Tips and tools for inclusive and holistic decision-making;
  • May include use of Decisive Digital Modules;
  • Participants report an increased sense of agency and awareness of their own problem solving process and AREA skills.

Consulting

Content Overview:

Consulting services assist clients in identifying customized solutions to their business and human resources problems. Consulting work has helped executives and teams develop new lines of business; reorganize/reposition businesses; align the workforce; develop marketing plans; create fundraising materials; develop media strategies and much more. Duration is responsive to client needs. AREA Evaluations demonstrate client satisfaction with their overall decision-making using AREA methodology. Evaluations also report growth in client decision skills, awareness of biases, confidence related to strengthening key relationships, research skills and holistic problem-solving.

Outcomes:

  • Clients solve a complex problem of their choosing;
  • Clients develop complex problem solving skills;
  • Clients identify and expand their network related to the problem they are solving;
  • Clients are able to act on their decision with confidence and conviction

Two sample projects.

Decision Problem:

In an industry full of disruption and transformation, Jeff Wald, the Co-Founder of Work Market, which provides an online platform and marketplace for businesses to manage freelancers, contractors, and consultants, was looking for a way to increase brand awareness, grow Work Market’s customer base and sharpen its value proposition to make it stand out from competitors.

Critical Concepts:

  • Increase Brand Awareness
  • Understand how Fortune 500 Companies use on-demand labor and anticipate future needs
  • Demonstrate that Work Market should be a preferred provider for on-demand workers

Problem Solved:

The AREA Method led Work Market to develop a new product that is uniquely collaborative and achieved all of the company’s Critical Concepts. Work Market launched a branded quarterly survey that provides industry data about the on-demand workforce and corporate needs. The survey showcases Work Market’s lead in both analytics and in spotting emerging labor trends across a wide variety of industries. It attracts attention from its target Fortune 500 market as well as by academics and the news media interested in better understanding the statistics in this fast-growing part of the global economy.

Work Market is now an ADP company.

Decision Problem:

With the guidance of Decisive, WNYC wanted to increase its reporter’s comfort and know-how in dealing with business, economic and financial information.

Critical Concepts:

  • Reporters and editors buy-into the project
  • Identify a stable of new sources that the station could turn to for business, economic and financial insight
  • Teach the staff the skills required to report on key markets

Problem Solved:

The AREA Method led to launching a professional development program that was uniquely collaborative and achieved all of WNYC’s Critical Concepts. WNYC launched a training and speaker series dedicated to introducing reporters and editors to a dozen key markets, their metrics and databases. The series enabled staff across the station to have an opportunity to get to know each other better, broaden their contacts with experts who could serve as future sources, provided professional development and generated many new story ideas.

Books & Cheetah Sheets

Problem Solved

A Powerful System for Making Complex Decisions with Confidence and Conviction

Make better personal and professional decisions.

It can be messy and overwhelming to figure out how to solve thorny problems. Where do you start? How do you know where to look for information and evaluate its quality and bias? How can you feel confident that you are making a careful and thoroughly researched decision?

Whether you are deciding between colleges, navigating a career decision, helping your aging parents find the right housing, or expanding your business, Problem Solved will show you how to use the powerful AREA Method to make complex personal and professional decisions with confidence and conviction.
Life is filled with uncertainty, but that uncertainty needn’t hobble us. Problem Solved offers a proactive way to work with, and work through, ambiguity to make thoughtful, confident decisions despite our uncertain and volatile world.

Investing in Financial Research

A Decision-Making System for Better Results

Make better financial decisions.

Every day, people around the world make financial decisions. They choose to invest in a stock, sell their holdings in a mutual fund or buy a condominium. These decisions are complex and financially tricky – even for financial professionals. But the literature available on financial research is dated and narrowly focused without any real practical application. Until now there’s been a gap in the literature: A book that shows you how to conduct a step by step comprehensive financial investigation that ends in a decision. This book gives you that how.

Investing In Financial Research: A Decision Making System For Better Results is a guidebook for conducting financial investigations. The book lays out Cheryl’s AREA Method – a research and decision-making system that uniquely controls for bias, focuses on the incentives of others and expands knowledge while improving judgment – and applies it to investigating financial situations. AREA is applicable to all sorts of financial sleuthing, whether for investment analysis or investigative journalism. It allows you to be an expert in your own life.

Cheetah Sheets

Cheetah Sheets are the graphic organizers of the AREA Method. They are named for the Cheetah and her prodigious hunting skill, based not on speed but on the ability to slow down quickly, up to 9 miles an hour in a single stride. That strategic slowdown allows for agility and flexibility, just like a quality decision process. As you go through the A, R, E&E, A steps, the Sheets act as strategic stops in your work where you can chunk your learning and make your work work for you. Everywhere in the books where you find a Cheetah Sheet, you’ll find tips to upgrade your research and your analysis. The Sheets may be purchased for either or both books to guide your decision hunt.

Investing In Financial Research AREA Cheetah Sheets
Problem Solved AREA Cheetah Sheets

Outcomes:

  • A guide for each step of your AREA decision process;
  • Deepens understanding of AREA methodology;
  • Helps you build a book and audit trail of your decision process.

Adolescent Decision Development

Content Overview:

Curriculum for a facilitated experience to teach decision-making. Materials go through the Decisive Digital Modules and include facilitator guide, student lesson-plans, student workbook, Decisive digital modules. This curriculum has been used by high schools and is appropriate for augmenting existing curriculum in a teacher’s course such as history or economics, for alternative justice and disciplinary interventions and for college and career counseling and advisory periods. AREA Evaluations demonstrate that teachers and students benefit from using the curriculum, have grown in their decision awareness and in their problem solving skills.

Outcomes:

  • Skills to tackle complex problems;
  • Self Awareness & Empathy;
  • Conflict Resolution System;
  • Restorative Practice;
  • Life Skills: Making Big Decisions Better;
  • Facilitators and students report an increase in decision awareness, skills and confidence.

Ready to make big decisions better? Get in Touch.