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Over at Harvard Business Online, Babson College professor and management thinker Tom Davenport is saying that decision-making is the next big thing. Or rather, the next big thing will be a careful examination of decision-making processes at work.
I’m not sure I’d ever call the very crux of good leadership and management—the ability to make wise, quick, and well-informed decisions—“the next big thing.” Sounds a bit like a way of quietly trumpeting his new book, which looks like an intriguing read on analytical decision-making and the competitive advantage it can afford.
On the other hand, I do agree with Davenport that decision-making seems to be getting fresh attention. Leadership sages Warren Bennis and Noel Tichy have a new book coming out this fall called Judgment. Procter & Gamble CEO A.G. Lafley’s design guru, Roger Martin, the dean of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, is working on a book about the role gut instinct plays in making decisions—a related BW column of his sparked an interesting debate. And increasingly, managers are using new tools, such as desktop dashboards or prediction markets to help them tap better data or the wisdom of the crowds to make tough calls.
Still, no matter how many books you read or tools you employ, no matter whether you fall on the gut or the analytic side of the how-to-make-decisions debate, making tough calls is just that: Tough. How do you make decisions? Are there any tools you use?
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