Red Teaming for Decision Support

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Steve Rotkoff & Whitney Hischier

Lecturers, UC Berkeley HAAS School of Business


Red teaming for decision-making is a set of critical thinking tools designed to address five specific planning dysfunctions. These include:

  • Solving the right problem – root cause analysis
  • Groupthink abatement – addressing the tendency to self-censor in hierarchal environments and the effects of bias on planning
  • Innovative thinking – using specific methods to open thinking and broaden conversations
  • Stress testing plans through the development of alternative futures
  • Retaining an open mind and agility and flexibility in action by envisioning strategies for coping with an always emergent future.

Initially developed for the military, the tools have found broader application to decision making across all types of organizations. This session will provide an overview of the origins of the tools and examples of how to use them.


Steve Rotkoff is a lecturer at the Haas School of Business and the former director of the U.S. Army’s University of Foreign Military and Cultural Studies at Fort Leavenworth, also known as “Red Team University.” After serving as a senior intelligence officer during the invasion of Iraq, Rotkoff led the “lessons learned” team at the Pentagon that first developed the idea of decision-support red teams for the Army and went on to help create the Army’s red team training curriculum. A graduate of West Point, Rotkoff had a distinguished 26-year career as an Army intelligence officer.

Whitney Hischier (MBA ‘01) is a lecturer at Haas in strategy and entrepreneurship at the Haas School of Business and Goldman School of Public Policy. Prior to coming to Berkeley, Hischier served as a management consultant at ABN Amro, KPMG UK, and Deloitte. She has taught business courses around the world and helped a number of major global corporations develop in-house executive education programs. Whitney and Steve partner to bring red teaming training and facilitation to graduate students and organizations around the world.


Presentation Slides

Presentation Recording/Video