Decide and Deliver: Five Steps to Breakthrough Performance in Your Organization


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 ...

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Decide and Deliver: Five Steps to Breakthrough Performance in Your Organization

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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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Editorial Reviews

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.” –

“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

Library Journal
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
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781422147573
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press
  • Publication date: 9/27/2010
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 389,027
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Marcia Blenko leads Bain & Company's Global Organization practice and is a partner in Bain's Boston office. Michael C. Mankins leads Bain's Organization practice in the Americas and is a key member of Bain's Strategy practice. He is a partner in Bain's San Francisco office. Paul Rogers is the managing partner for Bain's London office and previously led Bain's Global Organization practice.

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Read an Excerpt

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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Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Decisions and Results
Chapter 2 Score Your Organization’s Decision Abilities
Chapter 3 Focus on the Decisions That Matter Most
Chapter 4 Make Individual Decisions Work
Chapter 5 Build an Organization That Can Decide and Deliver
Chapter 6 Embed Decision Capabilities and Sustain Results

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 13, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Any successful business makes and executes great decisions - if

    Any successful business makes and executes great decisions - if it didn't, it wouldn't be a winner. Yet Bain & Company consultants Marcia W. Blenko, Michael C. Mankins, and Paul Rogers contend that most organizations never even analyze their decision capabilities and so can't identify their strengths and weaknesses. Similarly, most companies never try to improve their decision effectiveness. Using case studies, the authors explain how various firms boosted their performance and profitability by evaluating and increasing their effectiveness in making decisions. And they show you the five steps that will help your organization learn to "decide and deliver" - quickly, effectively and without unnecessary effort. Despite a bit of repetition, getAbstract recommends the authors' research and conclusions.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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