From the Publisher
“Decide to read it today.” Accounting Today
an organizationwide view of how to make good decisions quickly.” CIO magazine
“The book outlines a five-step process for improving decision effectiveness.” CFO.com
“Insights of immense value to managers and finance professionals.” The Hindu, India
“a simple, five-step process for improving a company’s decision-making and executing ability.” Consulting Magazine
Step-based management programs are a dime a dozen and are usually set apart by gimmicks that will inevitably seem foolish in retrospect. In this environment, this volume stands out for its no-nonsense, practical approach. Every page is realistic and feasible, and the system for improved organizational decision making has none of the fluff that plagues the genre. Blenko, Paul Rogers, and Michael C. Mankins, executives at an international management consulting firm, argue that decision effectiveness is the element that distinguishes good from great companies. The authors provide concrete steps for analyzing your organization to discover where the decision process is breaking down, along with guidelines for building and maintaining an organizational culture that supports effective decision making. The concepts are supported by brief but effective case studies of companies like Ford Motor Company, Nike, and MetLife. VERDICT Like all management books, a lot of what is offered here is common sense; however, this one does a distinctly excellent job of paring down and refocusing commonsense concepts into a useful system. Highly recommended for all organizational leaders.—Robert Perret, Univ. of Idaho, Moscow
Read an Excerpt
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 giantthey 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 humsone 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.