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Judgment Calls: Twelve Stories of Big Decisions and the Teams That Got Them Right

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Overview


Your guide to making better decisions

Despite the dizzying amount of data at our disposal today—and an increasing reliance on analytics to make the majority of our decisions—many of our most critical choices still come down to human judgment. This fact is fundamental to organizations whose leaders must often make crucial decisions: to do this they need the best available insights.

In Judgment Calls, authors Tom Davenport and Brook Manville ...

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Judgment Calls: Twelve Stories of Big Decisions and the Teams That Got Them Right

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Overview


Your guide to making better decisions

Despite the dizzying amount of data at our disposal today—and an increasing reliance on analytics to make the majority of our decisions—many of our most critical choices still come down to human judgment. This fact is fundamental to organizations whose leaders must often make crucial decisions: to do this they need the best available insights.

In Judgment Calls, authors Tom Davenport and Brook Manville share twelve stories of organizations that have successfully tapped their data assets, diverse perspectives, and deep knowledge to build an organizational decision-making capability—a competence they say can make the difference between success and failure. This book introduces a model that taps the collective judgment of an organization so that the right decisions are made, and the entire organization profits.

Through the stories in Judgment Calls, the authors—both of them seasoned management thinkers and advisers—make the case for the wisdom of organizations and suggest ways to use it to best advantage. Each chapter tells a unique story of one dilemma and its ultimate resolution, bringing into high relief one key to the power of collective judgment. Individually, these stories inspire and instruct; together, they form a model for building an organizational capacity for broadly based, knowledge-intensive decision making.

You’ve read The Wisdom of Crowds and Competing on Analytics. Now read Judgment Calls. You, and your organization, will make better decisions.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“provides a convincing illustration…laying out a usable model…in the area of collaborative decision making.” — CIO Digest

Judgment Calls makes a strong effort to raise decision making into less of an individual basis and more of a cultural practice within a team. It makes a solid follow up to analytic books such as Jim Sterne’s Social Media Metrics, Performance Marketing with Google Analytics, and of course, one of Davenport’s earlier books Analytics at Work.” — Small Business Trends (smallbiztrends.com)

Judgment Calls is driven by the 12 stories, each of which ends with reflections on how the organization successfully made the decision. “…it does offer ideas for judgment calls at your own workplace.” — The Globe & Mail

“It is…wonderful to have Judgment Calls: Twelve Stories of Big Decisions and the Teams That Got Them Right by Thomas H. Davenport and Brook Manville with twelve magnificently diverse parables of instances where good judgment was exercised and an organization “got it right” — Forbes.com

Selected as one of “PW’s Top 10: Business Books.”Publisher’s Weekly

“Those who have the opportunity to re-shape any organization of any size, the way it works and develops, and the way people lead and can be led more effectively will find great ideas and encouragement in this book. It is worth reading and re-reading.” — HR Zone

ADVANCE PRAISE for Judgment Calls:

“By integrating the lessons of twelve momentous decisions with a freshly imaginative perspective, Judgment Calls is a foundational contribution to the art and science of decision making.” — Warren Bennis, Distinguished Professor of Business Administration, University of Southern California; author, Still Surprised: A Memoir of a Life in Leadership

How leaders and organizations approach decision-making is one of the most critical variables to succeeding. Judgment Calls is a must read for anyone that wants to ensure that their organization is using effective decision-making as strategic and competitive advantage. — Allan C. Golston, President, U.S. Program, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

“Tom Davenport and Brook Manville have brilliantly written a collection of stories that provide both the proof and the guidance needed for organizations to make better decisions that depend on the skills, knowledge, and judgments of groups, rather than the oversold myth of individual heroics, which is ill suited for our ambiguous and fast-changing world.” — Douglas K. Smith, coauthor, The Wisdom of Teams and The Discipline of Teams

Judgment Calls illustrates how nurturing an analytics culture improves organizational judgment and translates into better outcomes. Every leader can benefit from the ‘iterative, deliberative decision processes’ highlighted in the case studies. Combining analytical insights and stories of collaboration among executives, engineers, marketers, partners, and customers, this book provides a winning formula for making more creative and innovative decisions.” — Jim Davis, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, SAS; coauthor, Information Revolution: Using the Information Evolution Model to Grow Your Business

“This is a book that stands up to common sense, while breaking through the age-old image of hero decision makers. In story after story, the authors show how great decisions in a wide range of industry situations have required and benefited from many perspectives and iterations over extended periods of time.” — Jon R. Katzenbach, Senior Partner, Booz & Company

“At last! A business book that's smart and great fun to read. Every leader—especially aspiring leaders—needs to read this book.” — Alan M. Webber, cofounder, Fast Company; author, Rules of Thumb: 52 Truths for Winning at Business Without Losing Your Self

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781422158111
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press
  • Publication date: 4/3/2012
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 1,278,679
  • Product dimensions: 6.34 (w) x 9.46 (h) x 1.03 (d)

Meet the Author


Thomas H. Davenport is the President’s Distinguished Chair at Babson College, a research fellow at the MIT Center for Digital Business, and a Senior Advisor to Deloitte Analytics. He is the author or coauthor of fourteen books, including Competing on Analytics. Brook Manville is an independent consultant and the author of several publications on issues of strategy and organizational development. He previously served as Chief Learning Officer for Saba Software and the United Way of America, and before that was McKinsey & Company's first Director of Knowledge Management.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 9, 2013

    Judgment Calls by Thomas H. Davenport and Brook Manville examine

    Judgment Calls by Thomas H. Davenport and Brook Manville examines twelve mission critical decisions made by public and private organizations for the key aspects of the decision process employed and analytical approaches used. Through this exploration, Thomas and Brook discuss organizational factors influencing successful decision-making including:

    - Participative Problem-Solving Processes
    - Technology and Analytics
    - Power and Culture
    - Leaders Setting the Right Context

    They assert that effective employment of these factors enhances organizational judgment and therefore its decision-making capability. The twelve detailed examples within their book serve as a roadmap for those seeking to further develop their organization's decision-making ability.

    I believe in the inherent value of reading books, such as Judgment Calls, that provide deep insights to the decision-making processes of respected organizations during critical situations. Thomas and Brook obviously had access to the senior leaders at each organization profiled; enabling them to garner the though processes and reasoning behind the decisions being made.

    Valuable as it may be, I believe there are flaws in Thomas and Brook's approach to ascertaining the key factors behind successful decisions. Most prevalent among these flaws is an apparent assumption that successful outcomes were the result of a sound decision-making approach and the correction of the organization's past decision-making shortfalls; not the result, in part or whole, of good fortune or luck. (Note that Thomas and Brook did examine some failed decisions of examined organizations, however, I found those reviews to be incomplete when compared with StrategyDriven`s analysis.) I would have liked to have seen additional testing whereby the processes leading to successful decisions were tested against decision-making shortcomings observed in other organizations. In my experience, organizations may experience a series of successful decision outcomes because circumstances that would otherwise challenge their area of vulnerability are not manifest. When such a circumstance does arise, the organization's decision process fails to recognize or appropriately deal with it leading to an adverse outcome.

    I have studied high-risk decisions - both the successes and the failures - made by organizations such as NASA and nuclear utilities around the world; identifying principles and practices to be embraced and those to be avoided. Indeed, I co-authored the standards by which the U.S. nuclear industry processes its high-risk decisions. While I agree with the four organizational factors associated with successful decision-making as outlined in Judgment Calls, I believe there are many others demanding close attention in order to consistently achieve desired outcomes. My insights to high-risk decision management can be found in StrategyDriven's Decision-Making topic area.

    While I believe the approach taken to draw the conclusions contained within Judgment Calls to be flaw, the book offers otherwise inaccessible insight into the decision-making processes of respected organizations making it a StrategyDriven recommended read.

    All the Best,
    Nathan Ives
    StrategyDriven Principal

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  • Posted December 5, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Many executives make decisions without consulting experts, weigh

    Many executives make decisions without consulting experts, weighing facts, considering options or engaging in thoughtful analysis. They trust their intuition and act accordingly. Such decisions often prove ruinous. Knowledge management experts Thomas H. Davenport and Brook Manville propose an alternative decision-making process – “organizational judgment” – that relies on the collective wisdom, expertise and reasoning of well-informed, collaborative groups. The authors cite case studies of varying strength (some really intriguing and useful; some perhaps not quite as piercing) to illustrate how organizational judgment proves far superior to the “golden guts” of prominent individuals who are subject to the same cognitive biases as everyone else. getAbstract recommends this perceptive analysis to all decision makers and organizational leaders.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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