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Thinking, Fast and SlowLeaders of theological schools take risks in the name of fulfilling their missions. New initiatives require much planning and praying, and sometimes it's difficult for a board members to speak up with doubts about a proposed initiative, especially if the plan is gaining momentum, or if a key stakeholder has voiced support.

Then, after the decision is made, everyone seems to remember that they were in favor of it -- even if the decision turns out to have negative consequences.

How can seminary leaders address this dynamic? Daniel Kahneman, who won the 2002 Nobel Prize in economics, suggests a technique called the premortem. The term comes from his colleague Gary Klein. A premortem is a thought exercise with a practical purpose. The time for a premortem is before an organization makes a significant decision.

During a premortem, people who have been part of the planning meet and imagine that the decision has already been made and that plans went spectacularly wrong. Each participant spends 10 minutes writing a history of the disaster. The scenarios are discussed and kept. "The main virtue of the premortem" Kahneman writes, "is that it legitimizes doubts" (Thinking, Fast and Slow, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011, p. 265).

Theological schools want to make good decisions. The premortem may be a technique that your school can use to unleash creativity and improve the quality of decisions.

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Upcoming Events

The In Trust Center hosts learning community spaces throughout the year. Check out our upcoming events below.

Strategic Partnerhips


In this on-demand webinar, Rick Staisloff, senior partner of rpk GROUP, will discuss essential aspects of strategic partnerships. He will explore current trends, identify partners, navigate the due diligence process, and addresses common challenges. In addition to technical components of partnerships, he will also examine the intangible – yet critical – elements of partnerships, such as building trust and managing relationships.

Closing the Trust Gap


The current and very troubling condition of trust is a clarion call to action. But despite the dismal data showing pervasive organizational distrust, every organization can assess their current level of trust, learn and adopt a proven trust building framework, and then develop a meaningful and long-lasting plan of action. This webinar details the knowledge and practical next steps to strengthen workplace culture as a result of closing the trust gap.

In Trust Center Resource Grants


An In Trust Center Resource Grant offers member schools a chance to explore innovation at their institutions through a matching grant opportunity of up to $15,000. Listen to this 30-minute information session, including Q&A, as we provide details on eligibility requirements, funding priorities, application process. Previous grantees are eligible to apply as long as they are not within our current funding cycle.

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