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

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


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781422147573
Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press
Publication date: 09/27/2010
Pages: 192
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.80(d)

About 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.

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.

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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