Decisions are the lifeblood of organizations. Nothing happens without a decision. Yet, judging by the news headlines from the past decade, allegedly smart people and name-brand organizations can make some truly miserable decisions.
The importance of looking at decision-making as an organizational capability that can be exercised and improved upon was underscored in an empirical study by Blenko, Mankins and Rogers, published in the Harvard Business Review (The Decision Driven Organization, fee), suggesting a strong correlation between decision-making effectiveness and financial results. The study went on to suggest that the typical organization may be able to improve decision-making effectiveness by at least 50%. If they are right, that’s a big pile of decision-making opportunity left out on the corporate table.
Run a literature search on decision-making, and you’ll find a broad range of content, much of it focused on the cognitive issues and traps surrounding the process, and the balance focused on the disasters so widely dissected in our culture. For a fresh and refreshing view on decision-making, enter Tom Davenport and Brook Manville with their book, Judgment Calls-12 Stories of Big Decisions and the Teams that Got Them Right.