Decide & Deliver: 5 Steps to Breakthrough Performance in Your Organization

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Harvard Business Press, 2010 - Business & Economics - 172 pages
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Dithering. Decisions that turn out wrong. Decisions that people sabotage or don't know how to implement. If your company's experiencing these problems, it's not alone. Most organizations don't know how to make and execute good decisions. And they're paying a high price--as profitability and competitiveness erode.

It doesn't have to be this way. In Decide and Deliver, the authors draw on Bain & Company's extensive research to present a five-step process for improving your firm's decision effectiveness:

1. Assess your decision effectiveness--and how your organization affects it.
2. Identify your critical decisions.
3. Set individual critical decisions up for success.
4. Ensure that your company enables and reinforces great decision making and execution.
5. Embed the changes in everyday practice.

Master this process, and you see immediate results: people across your organization collaborate to make crucial decisions better and faster than your rivals. And they execute them flawlessly-fueling unprecedented financial performance.

Filled with powerful hands-on tools and detailed examples from companies as varied as Ford Motor Company, British American Tobacco, Telstra, Lafarge, and ABB UK, Decide and Deliver helps you make decision management a potent competitive weapon in your company.
 

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I found this book on the Harvard Business Review (HBR) Press website and noticed it was authored by three people from Bain & Company, Inc., one of the most highly regarded consultancy practices in the ... Read full review

Contents

Decisions and Results
1
Score Your Organizations Decision Abilities
19
Focus on the Decisions That Matter Most
45
Make Individual Decisions Work
67
Build an Organization That Can Decide and Deliver
95
Embed Decision Capabilities
125
The Research Behind Decide Deliver
147
Notes
159
Index
161
About the Authors
171
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Chapter 1

Decisions and Results

Trevor Gregory was frustrated. A senior executive of ABB UK, the British division of the Swiss power technology and automation company, he was racing to put together several critical bids for clients, including the Channel Islands electricity grid, the London Underground, and the National Grid. The opportunities played to all of ABB's strengths as a global engineering giant--they required technologies, project delivery, and services from several parts of the company. Few competitors could match these soup-to-nuts offerings. Winning the contracts would mean hundreds of millions of dollars in revenues for ABB over many years.

But instead of cruising through, Gregory was bumping up against one organizational obstacle after another. The company seemed to reinvent the process for submitting major bids every time one came up, even though multimillion-dollar bids like these were regular events. Worse, each of ABB's units had its own profit targets and set its own transfer prices, including a margin acceptable to that unit. By the time a bid got through the chain of ABB units, the end price was often too high to be competitive. Gregory and other managers then faced an exasperating choice. They could go in high and lose the business. They could walk away without bidding. Or they could invest blood, sweat, and tears in trying to pull the bid together, piece by laborious piece.

These opportunities are really important, Gregory thought to himself. We've got to make them happen. But he dreaded the arduous internal negotiations that assembling the bids would require. He wondered why on earth his company didn't work better. Why wasn't it set up to make good decisions on a routine basis for the benefit of the whole business?

This book is about how to fix decision failures like the ones that plagued ABB. It's about how to create an organization that hums--one that can make and execute good decisions, do so faster than the competition, and do it all without too much (or too little) time and trouble.

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