Paul J.H. Schoemaker

About Paul


Paul became an expert in the field of decision sciences, among the first to combine the practical ideas of decision theory, behavioral economics, scenario planning, and risk management into a set of strategic decision-making tools for managers. He is co-author of a landmark book with Jay Russo, Winning Decisions: Getting It Right the First Time. He has also been an entrepreneur as founder, CEO, and Chairman of Decision Strategies International, Inc. and as co-founder of Strategic Radar, Inc. Finally, Paul is a dedicated educator: he served for a decade as research director of the Mack Center for Technological Innovation at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and for five years as a board member of the Decision Education Foundation. He has conducted hundreds of lectures and executive seminars around the world. A native of the Netherlands, Paul lives on the East Coast of the U.S.A with his wife; they have two children.

As an expert, entrepreneur, and educator in the field of strategic decision-making for managers, Paul conducts research, develops new tools for making better decisions, tests them in the real world, and teaches others how to use them. 

  • Author, entrepreneur, speaker, and academic in the fields of decision sciences, leadership, and strategy.
  • Founder, CEO, and Chairman of Decision Strategies International and Strategic Radar (both sold in 2016).
  • Recently found Q2 Tech, a digital tools AI venture.
  • Research Director of the Mack Institute for Innovation Management at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Served on Wharton’s faculty for over 20 years in three different departments, full and part-time.
  • Was a professor at the Graduate School of Business at the University of Chicago for 12 years and a visiting professor with Cedep at Insead (France).
  • Decades of executive education at Berkeley, University of Chicago, Cedep at Insead, Wharton, as well as in top corporate programs (e.g., GE at Crotonville).
  • Angle investor and director in start-ups, sabbatical in scenario planning group of Royal/Dutch Shell in London, and adviser to 100+ organizations worldwide.


See Sooner Act Faster

Paul has advised many companies and non-profit organizations around the world. He is co-author of Decision Traps (Doubleday 1989) and Winning Decisions (Doubleday 2001), which together have sold well over 100,000 copies. He is also an author or co-author (noted with *) of Decision Sciences* (Cambridge University Press, 1993), Wharton on Managing Emerging Technologies* (Wiley, 200), Profiting from Uncertainty (Free Press 2002), Peripheral Vision* (Harvard Business Review Group 2006), Chips, Clones and Living Beyond 100* (Pearson Ltd 2009), Brilliant Mistakes (Wharton Digital Press, 2011), Winning the Long Game* (Public Affairs/Perseus, 2014), See Sooner-Act Faster* (MIT Press, 2019), and Advanced Introduction to Scenario Planning (Edward Elgar, 2022). The chart below depicts the scope of the decision sciences, with Paul’s writing touching many of the subjects listed within the four main ovals.

Scope of Decisions Sciences

Paul has written over 120 academic and applied papers, which have appeared in such diverse journals as the Harvard Business Review, the Journal of Mathematical Psychology, Brain and Behavioral Sciences, and the Journal of Economic Literature. He has published five articles in the Harvard Business Review, 9 in Berkeley’s California Management Review, and 9 in MIT’s Sloan Management Review. Given their global applicability, his writings appear in 17 languages. His scholarly work ranks in the top one percent in academic citations globally as measured by the International Science Index. Ten years after its appearance, his 1995 article, “Scenario Planning,” ranked second as the most reprinted publication in the then 50-year history of the Sloan Management Review. His book Brilliant Mistakes, which elaborates on his HBR article about “The Wisdom of Deliberate Mistakes,” shows how managers can use mistakes as portals of discovery in science as well as business. CBS’s Sunday Morning interviewed Paul about the counterintuitive strategy of making deliberate mistakes to spur innovation


Paul was the founder and Executive Chairman of Decision Strategies International, Inc. (DSI), a consulting and training firm specializing in strategic management, executive development, and multimedia software sold in 2016 to Heidrick & Struggles. DSI helped organizations seize emerging opportunities sooner to stay ahead of market trends, technologies, competitors, and regulations. Its clients include most of the ten largest corporations worldwide at the time, as well as many of the Fortune 100. Paul also co-founded Strategic Radar, Inc., a technology-platform company later acquired by DSI that let organizations track external changes and scan for early warning signals about the need to change strategic direction. In addition, Paul has been an angel investor in technology-based ventures and served on the Board of Directors for several of these, including OmniChoice,, Strategic Radar, and TLContact. Paul also served as Chairman of two family-owned businesses. The first was a food additives business based in the Netherlands that offers customized mixes and ingredients for the meat, fish, and dairy industry in Europe and beyond. The second one is Ohio-based Public Salt, Inc., which is one of Morton Salt’s largest wholesale distributors in the USA. In addition to safety salt, this company also sells water softener, mulch, and related products, where Paul served as Chairman. Paul, as Chairman, helped sell both companies.
Paul Schoemaker


Paul Schoemaker's Books

Paul Schoemaker served for a decade as Research Director of the Mack Center for Technological Innovation at the Wharton School, renamed in 2014 as the Mack Institute for Innovation Management, where he remains as a Senior Fellow. In his director role, he often teamed up with executives to tackle frontier challenges in innovation and strategy. Committed to life-long education, Paul relishes real-world problem-solving and action-learning programs inside his corporate clients or in the advanced management programs of Berkeley’s Haas School, Cedep at Instead, and Wharton. For over 12 years, Paul served full-time as an assistant and associate professor in the fields of decision sciences and policy at the Graduate School of Business of the University of Chicago. He was an early faculty member of its preeminent Center for Decision Research, where Richard Thaler later received a Nobel Prize in economics. Paul has taught over ten different university courses during his academic career, ranging from highly quantitative to more qualitative and case-oriented, touching thousands of undergraduates, MBAs, Ph.D. students, and managers. Paul also served as a donor and board member of the philanthropic Decision Education Foundation, which teaches decision-making skills to adolescents, often in partnership with selected US high schools (see diagram below).

Six Links of a Good Decision