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Bain Book

Time, Talent, Energy

Overcome Organizational Drag and Unleash Your Team's Productive Power

By Michael Mankins and Eric Garton

Business leaders know that the key to competitive success is smart management of scarce resources. That's why companies allocate their financial capital so carefully. But capital today is cheap and abundant, no longer a source of advantage. The truly scarce resources now are the time, the talent and the energy of the people in your organization—resources that are too often squandered. There's plenty of advice about how to manage them, but most of it focuses on individual actions. What's really needed are organizational solutions that can unleash a company's full productive power and enable it to outpace competitors.

"The authors know how to grab the chief executive's attention."

Building off of the popular Harvard Business Review article "Your Scarcest Resource," Michael Mankins and Eric Garton, Bain & Company experts in organizational design and effectiveness, present new research into how you can liberate people's time, talent and energy and unleash your organization's productive power. They identify the specific causes of organizational drag—the collection of institutional factors that slow things down, decrease output and drain people's energy—and then offer a simple framework for how managers can overcome it. With practical advice for using the framework and in-depth examples showing how the best companies manage their people's time, talent and energy with as much discipline as they do their financial capital, this book shows managers how to create a virtuous circle of high performance.

About the Authors

Michael Mankins

Michael Mankins

Michael Mankins is a partner in Bain & Company’s San Francisco office and a leader in the firm’s Organization practice. Much of his work has focused on strategic and organizational initiatives that improve performance and create long-term value. He is a coauthor of Decide & Deliver: Five Steps to Breakthrough Performance in Your Organization and The Value Imperative: Managing for Superior Shareholder Returns.

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Eric Garton

Eric Garton

Eric Garton is a partner in Bain & Company’s Chicago office and a leader in the firm’s Organization practice. For over 20 years, he has advised clients in organizational design and effectiveness, merger integration, cost transformation and growth strategy. Eric has completed numerous organizational design and cost transformation efforts across various industries.

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What Others Are Saying

A persuasive guide for any leader to follow in their quest to drive their organization to longevity and success.

Peter Coleman, CEO, Woodside Petroleum


The idea of allocating human capital as rigorously as financial capital is a really powerful one. This book brings that idea to life with impactful and practical examples for leaders looking to increase the effectiveness of their workforce.

Irene Rosenfeld, former Chairman and CEO, Mondelēz International


Time, Talent, Energy makes a compelling case for why every CEO and senior leader should focus on managing human capital to beat the competition.

Michael Dell, Chairman and CEO, Dell Technologies

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