Meet Giorgia Prestento, CEO at Decision-Making Optimisation & Business Transformation Consultancy: Optimal Decisions

Optimal Decisions is a business transformation consultancy, specialising in decision-making, that enables business leaders to optimise their individual and team decision-making. This essential business activity is often overlooked, as we take it for granted that business executives have the skills and knowledge to make decisions.

The business is focused on helping global organisations and teams apply the principles of good design to all business decisions. We address slow decisions, reluctance to make decisions, lack of consistency, endless meetings with no clear purpose and dysfunctional team behaviours.

We need to acknowledge that decision-making is a skill that requires practice but also learning of techniques, behavioural influences such as biases, as well as the psychology of group dynamics. It’s also important to remember that bad decisions can have a serious impact on the bottom line.
By focusing on improving ‘how’ we make decisions, we can remove the uncertainty connected with them. We judge companies and executives on the quality of their decisions, so we help them to develop the skills and insights to optimise their decision-making.
 
 

 

How did you come up with the idea for the company?

 
The idea for the company came from observing poor decision-making in global companies I worked with. As a change management consultant with 20-plus years of business transformation experience, working with blue chip companies cross sector, I noticed how sometimes there was no process or governance in place in how decisions were made and implemented.

I have also seen executives with different styles of decision-making, from indecisive to authoritarian. I decided to learn about the topic and completed a Masters in Behavioural Science at the London School of Economics. The modules on Decision Science gave me the insights I needed, and that’s how the idea came to life, combining a unique combination of expertise in change coupled with the knowledge of decision science.
 

 

How has the company evolved over the last couple of years?

 
The company has evolved organically in the past couple of years. I completed my Masters in 2017 and started advising clients on decision-making as part of my change management roles. It is a relatively new ‘topic’ for many executives, which is why I decided on an organic approach.

There are some articles on decisions in HBR and other publications, but it’s still a relatively new business topic. We have all come across courses on presentation skills, project management, and so on – but few in decision-making. This lack of advice and support around decision-making motivated me to develop my proposition and model.

This year I decided it was time to set up Optimal Decisions with a clear focus on decision-making and a mission to bring decision-making to the forefront of executives business priorities.
 

What can we hope to see from Optimal Decisions in the future?

 
In the future, you will see Optimal Decision as a more prominent thought leader and advisor in decision-making, with our initial focus including technology businesses of all sizes. We focus on optimising the foundations of decisions: process and group dynamics. Even companies that have not given much attention to decision-making will notice a visible improvement by improving these two foundations. This will have a direct impact on finances, as quicker decisions will reduce wasted time and effort.

We are also passionate about supporting diversity of thinking. This is a step ahead and more complex than gender, race and age diversity. It’s about creating teams with diverse ideas, approaches to problem solving and a richness of backgrounds, which have a positive impact on improving decision outcomes for individuals, teams and organisations.