Publications

  • Your scarcest resource

    April 15, 2014 | Organization | Harvard Business Review

    Most companies have elaborate procedures for managing capital. They require a compelling business case for any new investment. They set hurdle rates. They delegate authority carefully, prescribing spending limits for each level.

  • Managing Initiative Overload

    March 06, 2014 | Bain Decide & Deliver | Bain Brief

    When you're overwhelmed with initiatives, you can't contribute to good, fast decision making. Here’s a practical set of guidelines to prevent initiative overload when possible and mitigate its effects when not.

  • Boiling-frog affliction and other ills: Using combination therapies to improve organization performance

    October 02, 2013 | Bain Decide & Deliver | Bain Brief

    Organizational ailments tend to come in clusters—which means you’re going to need a combination of treatments to fix them.

  • Measuring decision effectiveness

    June 05, 2012 | Organization | Bain Brief

    Companies that make high-quality decisions, make them quickly, and implement them effectively win more contracts, get to market faster and otherwise beat out rivals. And yet many companies do not even measure their decision effectiveness. They don’t know how they stack up against the competition,

  • Great decisions require great support

    September 29, 2011 | Organization | Forbes.com

    Many organizations know they must clearly identify the individual or group responsible for making every major decision. But too many organizations stop there—and fail to realize that every major decision involves several essential supporting roles that are often the key to success.

  • How organizations make great decisions

    September 27, 2011 | Organization | Bain Brief

    Companies that are most effective at decisions don’t dither. They follow a carefully structured approach to decisions, one that ensures agreement on criteria, facts, alternatives, commitment and closure. And they put in a place a few simple enablers that help the process work smoothly. The results

  • Create a decision-focused culture

    September 07, 2011 | Organization | Forbes.com

    Building a decision-focused culture can seem daunting. But a committed leadership team can do it by focusing on three key steps, which we think of as define, align and build.

  • Solving the talent problem: a decision approach

    August 17, 2011 | Organization | Forbes.com

    Leadership supply, a/k/a the “war for talent,” is a perennial item on every executive’s agenda. But the conventional tools—recruitment and retention efforts, training programs and the like—do no more than keep a company in the game. They can’t help an organization pull away from the competition or

  • Decision-focused meetings

    June 07, 2011 | Organization | Bain Brief

    Beth Williams groaned as she looked at her computer monitor—another Monday, another product-development meeting. Later, she had a meeting with her own team and a get-together with marketing, plus a conference call.

  • Embed decision capabilities in your organization

    February 02, 2011 | Organization | Bain Brief

    With effort, any organization can rid itself of internal logjams and get things decided and delivered for a period of time. But most organizations have enormous amounts of inertia and are likely to slide back into the old ways of doing things. If you want decision effectiveness to be more than a