The FliPsides of Collaborative Decision Making
4.5 (40 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
272 students enrolled

The FliPsides of Collaborative Decision Making

Includes the neuroscience of decision making, leading a collaborative process, and being a wise advisor
4.5 (40 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
272 students enrolled
Last updated 8/2018
English [Auto]
Current price: $47.99 Original price: $79.99 Discount: 40% off
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This course includes
  • 1.5 hours on-demand video
  • 1 downloadable resource
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • Make swifter, higher quality decisions
  • Be an invaluable thinking partner and help others decide
  • Maximize your impact by applying the latest neuroscience research
  • Lead a collaborative decision making process that engages the whole team
  • Gain commitment to decisions and speed up their implementation
  • Help your clients, team, friends and family make wiser decisions
  • Harness the most value and collective intelligence from your crew
  • No prerequisites

Are you on a mission to seek out better more collaborative decision making, to boldly go where no one has gone before?

We face dozens of decisions every day from the ordinary to those more akin to intergalactic warfare. Decision making is a skill with many facets: How do you decide how you will decide? How do you move the process forward? How do you give opinions in a way that gets heard and valued? What do you do if the “wrong” decision is made? How can you harness the most value from your crew?

The Starship Enterprise has two wise decision makers on board: Captain Kirk and Science Officer Spock. Develop the best, most collaborative skills from both of them. 

Who this course is for:
  • Anybody who makes decisions and wants to do it better, swifter, more collaboratively, and more confidently.
  • People who want to optimize their personal influence and effectiveness in decision making.
Course content
Expand all 32 lectures 01:30:02
+ First day of class
4 lectures 09:14

Marc and Samantha are co-authors of the best-seller Leadership Is Half The Story: A Fresh Look At Followership, Leadership, and Collaboration (University of Toronto, Rotman Press) , co-founders of FliPskills Consulting, an HR thought leader and innovator, and co-founders of FliP University, an online course startup, FliPing online learning on its head.

Marc is FliP U’s Chief Insight Officer, and one interesting guy! He grew up as he says, “surrounded by rats in cages, bearded academics, strong female role models and psychedelic iconography,” as the son of parents who were hippies and PhD psychologists. Though he dreamed of being a theoretical physicist or one of the Beatles, his path in life keeps pulling him back to his love of learning. Marc has Masters degrees in math and physics, an MBA, and a PhD in neuroscience. He’s always trying to help others learn and bring out the best in themselves. Marc teaches entrepreneurship and leadership at the University of Waterloo, acts and directs community theatre, is a poet, and an avid pinball player.

Sam is FliP U’s Chief Encouragement Officer, though, you could argue that she is one of the world’s chief encouragers, offering heartfelt encouragement to everyone she meets! Sam spent her childhood creating:  costumes, surprise parties, science fair projects, speeches, stories and crafts. In high school, her assertiveness flourished as she organized sit-ins and petitioned for girls to be allowed to take wood shop instead of cooking. So naturally, Sam grew up to be an Accountant. But this oddly creative and assertive accountant soon discovered her true passion:  developing people. Sam is a sought-after leadership and followership coach, consultant and CPA with years of corporate and executive experience to boot! She enjoys helping people discover their “aha” and “ahhh” moments.

At FliP U, we’ve taken the best of what in-person workshops offer and put it online. And, our content is pracademic, whimsical, transformative and thoroughly modern, at the forefront of organizational needs. It is based on research from cognitive neuroscience, creativity, social, organizational and positive psychology, learning theory, and clinical practice.

If you want to know more about the team that helped bring this course to life, visit

Preview 02:37

The Bottom Line ...

We’ve discovered that Star Trek – more specifically, the characters Kirk and Spock – are a wonderful metaphor for learning about and honing our decision making skills. For those of you less familiar with Star Trek... Captain Kirk is a human and therefore emotional, instinctual, collaborative and outside the box and Science Office Spock is a "Vulcan", i.e., rational, analytical and a scientific genius. 

That, plus your imagination and gumption, is about all you need to learn great things from this metaphor.

Preview 03:30

Who is better at decision making, Kirk or Spock? 

Is there a right answer?

Yes and no.

Most people choose Kirk for some answers and Spock for others. This exercise reveals individual preferences as well as organizational and even professional preferences. For example, people often admire a Kirk approach but reward, train, and feel comfortable with a Spock approach. Or the reverse. In fact, most people default to organizational or personal norms without considering what kind of decision making is best for the situation. The right answer is to be thoughtful and intentional, matching the style of decision making to the situation.

With training, we can learn how to leverage the unique value of the best of Kirk and the best of Spock. 

Preview 01:27
+ Making the most of your brain & body
7 lectures 32:51

The Bottom Line …

Organizing data in different ways helps your brain process the information and gain new perspectives. 

Find three or four different ways to organize data before decision making.

Preview 06:43

The Bottom Line …

Our unconscious brain is much more powerful and effective than our conscious brain. Give it data in multiple ways (Principle 1) then give it time.

Feed it and leave it! (Your unconscious brain that is.)

Principle 2 - Activate your unconscious

The Bottom Line …

Your whole body is vital for making good decisions. Listen to your gut and learn to recognize when to trust it.

Journal Assignment 

Get out your journal and think about a decision you have on your plate right now. It could be a decision at work or at home. Perhaps you are considering...

  • switching jobs?

  • putting your hand up for a new assignment?

  • going back to school?

  • trying something outside your comfort zone?

  • lending money to a friend or family member?

  • a new investment decision?

  • buying a new house, car or cottage?

  • making a change to your appearance?

  • a new volunteer commitment?

  • other? 

When you think about that decision, what is your gut telling you? Check in and see if it’s likely feeding you accurate information. Step 1 – Are you tired, stressed, anxious or quite caffeinated? Step 2 – Do you have sufficient expertise to trust your gut on this decision?    

Principle 3 - Mind your body

The Bottom Line …

Contrary to popular belief, emotions don’t hinder decision making, they are essential. But be aware of the impact they are having. Double check how your emotions are influencing your decisions. Get a second opinion, wait a bit, write down all the positive and negatives to see if you would make a different decision in a different mood.

Journal Assigment

Get out your journal and do the Feelings Quiz.

Principle 4 - Feelings count

The Bottom Line …

Biases will affect the quality of your decision making. We all have them. Take steps to minimize their impact.

Use structured tools, seek diverse perspectives, and highlight the downsides as much as the upsides of every option to minimize decision making errors.

Principle 5 - Brave your biases

Which of these statements is true?

Mastery quiz
5 questions

The Bottom Line …

Encourage more System 2 thinking in yourself and others by being aware of the four avoidance reasons:

  1. not enough energy

  2. not enough time

  3. not enough urgency, and

  4. not enough expertise.

Journal Assignment

Take out your journal, reflect on and answer these questions:

  • Have you ever experienced a situation, as in the video, where someone seemed to be avoiding making a decision

  • What did you do?

  • Looking back, with what you now know, what additional strategies might have helped? 

Principle 6 - The secret principle
The secret principle quiz
4 questions
The best of both
+ May we together become greater than the sum of both of us
3 lectures 07:55

Journal Assignment 

Turn to page 10 in your journal to complete this important activity.

Inputs to decision making

The Bottom Line …

The Decision Lifecycle is a structured process with stages. It facilitates collaboration, keeps people on the same page, and generates a thoughtful, high quality decision. You can see that there are three stages in the process EVEN BEFORE a decision is made. We call the first three stages Scouting and the final stage, after a decision is made, Settling.

A scouting mission is about seeking out new territory – to boldly go where no one has gone before. While a settling mission is about putting down roots in new territories – to inhabit new worlds and star systems.

It's a process not an event

The Bottom Line …

People often make a big deal about decision making as a critical leadership skill. In fact, the followership role in a collaborative decision making process is equally important. What do the complementary roles look like and how do they work?

In your leadership role, you will need to create an environment AND oversee a process that optimizes engagement, collaboration and decision quality.

In your followership role, you can add tremendous value at every stage, even when you don’t have decision making authority or responsibility.

I am pleased to see that we have differences
Are you ready to collaborate?
4 questions
+ Be an invaluable collaborator like Spock
7 lectures 17:58

Journal Assignment

Get out your journal and turn to page 12. Check off which option exemplifies bringing an engaged mindset.

Stage 1 - Bring an engaged mindset

The Bottom Line …

In your followership role add value early in the process - always give complete information, seek clarity of purpose and decision criteria, and help organize the data in multiple ways.

Journal Assignment

Take out your journal, select what you are already good at, and create a good long list of ALL the ways you can do all of these actions more often and with more impact.

Stage 2 - 'Feed in' not 'buy in'

The Bottom Line …

In your followership role, be a thinking partner by providing Level 3 decision support.

We think of decision support as having 3 levels:

  • Level 1 – an opinion

  • Level 2 – information

  • Level 3 – organizing facts, offering frameworks, powering up solutions, overcoming objections, and adding context

Stage 3A - Level 3 Decision Support

Here is a scenario with a leader asking for decision support. Read each reaction and select the best one.

Who shows Level 3 Decision Support?
1 question

Experiential + Journal Assignment

Go forth and practice what you are learning: help someone else decide by providing them Level 3 Decision Support.

Good luck!!!

Write a line or two of reflection in your journal about how that went for you. Were your efforts effective? Were your efforts appreciated? What would you do the same or differently the next time?

Experiential Assignment: Help someone else decide

The Bottom Line …

In your followership role you’ll be most useful and influential as a Decision Advocate far more than a Devil’s Advocate by:

  • Being passionate FOR not against things
  • Adopting a ‘yes and’ approach
  • Building on ideas and powering them up
Stage 3B - Be a Decision Advocate
Devilishly fun quiz
5 questions
The decision milestone

The Bottom Line …

Important actions to remember in your followership role once a decision has been made:

  • Probe to understand WHY the decision was made
  • Commit to the decision
  • Make the decision even better by implementing it brilliantly
Stage 4 - Get 'er done!
+ Followership Skills Assessment
1 lecture 00:50

Journal Assignment

Take out your journal and take stock now of your followership skills for decision making.

Assess your followership skills for collaborative decision making
+ Be a collaborative leader like Kirk
7 lectures 18:25

The Bottom Line …

In your leadership role,

  • Process – Invite the right people to the table at the right time and sort out the right involvement.
  • Environment – Create an environment where everyone can engage fully in the process and be at their best.
Stage 1- Engage everyone early
Match the collaborator
8 questions

The Bottom Line …

In your leadership role,

  • Process – Move the process forward, drive data collection and analysis, and determine decision criteria.
  • Environment – Continue to ensure the environment is conducive to open, complete and transparent information and the exchange of ideas.
Stage 2 - Drive analysis

Journal Assignment

Take out your journal and practice choosing decision criteria, and considering all the implications.

Choose your decision criteria

The Bottom Line …

In your leadership role,

  • Process – Expand your choices, narrow them, and evaluate them.

  • Environment – Foster diversity of ideas and healthy debate.

Stage 3 - Create choices

Journal Assignment:

We all need a Spock and a McCoy: the people whose opinions you trust, who don’t always agree with each other, and who sometimes or often disagree with you.

Who are your Spock and your McCoy in your work-life? 

What about in your personal life?   

Who are your Spock and McCoy?

The Bottom Line …

Go boldly and confidently, and make the decision of how to decide in your leadership role. 

It’s important to understand that collaboration and consensus are two separate concepts. Just because you’ve run a collaborative decision making process doesn’t mean you need to share making a decision nor does it mean you need consensus.

When you make a decision be sure to: document it, communicate it, and celebrate it.

The Decision milestone - Choosing wisely

Imagine you are the leader in all of the following situations. How do you decide how you will decide?

Decide how you will decide
3 questions

The Bottom Line …

Stay the course on implementation: don’t rethink your decision unless it is absolutely necessary.

Stage 4 - Get 'er done!
+ Leadership Skills Assessment
1 lecture 00:40

Journal Assignment

Take out your journal and take stock now of your leadership skills for decision making.

Assess your leadership skills for collaborative decision making
+ Last week of class
2 lectures 02:09

6X was the largest employer in the city with 8,000 staff. The second largest was their #1 competitor, Solutions 4 U. At 6X it was engagement survey time and they knew engaged staff was key to success. Management poured over and used the results to evaluate programs, leadership and training. Alex, Senior VP of the largest division, was well liked and respected. He nurtured a culture of open communication and trust.  The new CEO booked a meeting with the division heads. Alex expected the survey results would be revealed. He knew his leadership team - and their teams - were anxious to learn the results and get to work. At the meeting, the results were distributed as expected. What wasn’t expected was the directive from CEO that results were not to be distributed below the SVP level. Alex vehemently opposed this decision.

Final case: Do not give out the results!
1 question

There is one correct answer for each of the following questions. Please choose wisely. Kirk or Spock will let you know every time you get an answer right!

Final exam: Kirk vs. Spock
8 questions

Final Journal Assignment

Hopefully this isn't the last time you refer to your journal but it's the last assignment we'll give you:) Take some time to process what you've learned. Reflect, Take notes. And, cement your resolve and action plan for putting into practise all you've learned.

Putting it all together

Congratulations! You now know as much about great decision making practices as Kirk and Spock combined.

Live long and decide well.

We appreciate your engagement and your feedback.

Congratulations & graduation party