Decision making as the foundation for organizational effectiveness

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Bain wrote a piece recently on how we should refocus talent efforts on an organization’s ability to make decisions. You can read it here, but the short of it is that we should design organizational structure, pick people for positions and evaluate people’s success based on decision making.  It was worth a skim if you are interested in org design or performance management.

Here are a few thoughts I had after reading it… Of course organizations need to pay more attention to where key decisions are made in the organization – this is good, basic organizational design that many companies overlook. This article takes it a step further and talks about how critical it is to place top performers in positions around the organization where the most critical decisions are made. I like this new slant – once you get the organizational structure right you need to look at where those most important decisions are made (and this is not always at the top) – and get the right people in place.

The article also touches on the need to evaluate people based on their ability to make decisions. That’s a little trickier… I’d agree that people can and should be evaluated on how quickly and effectively they make decisions but measuring them based purely on the outcome of those decisions is dangerous. It could slow those decision makers, or even paralyze them, if they are fearful that bold decision making will not be rewarded.