Decision Making

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How Fast and Flexible Do You Want Your Information, Really?

Almost all executives want more and faster information, and almost all companies are racing to provide it. What many of them overlook, though, is that the real aim should be not faster information but faster decision making — and those aren’t the same things.

Image courtesy of Flickr user Nathan Eal Photography.

Why Companies Have to Trade “Perfect Data” for “Fast Info”

Companies have been trained to think about data all wrong, say Attivio’s Ali Riaz and Sid Probstein. “Analytics don't have to be based on super-precise data,” they say. “The report doesn't have to be perfect. It needs to capture the behavior, not the totality of it."

Courtesy of IBM.

Putting It Together: How to Succeed in Distributed Product Development

The increase in outsourcing and offshoring of complex work has resulted in innovation efforts that require coordination across cultural, geographic and legal boundaries. If that coordination is mishandled, companies can find themselves needing to make multimillion- or even billion-dollar changes. The complexity of the task makes midcourse corrections likely. Managers must anticipate and adapt their processes in order to reduce risk and, ultimately, cost.

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How to Manage Risk (After Risk Management Has Failed)

Over the past decade, a number of the world’s respected companies have collapsed. A factor was these companies’ approach to risk management. Two different views have evolved on how risk should be assessed. The first — the frequentist view — is based on historical data. The second, or Bayesian, considers risk to be in part a judgment of the observer. Many measures are being deployed to prevent future crises — a shift from frequentist to Bayesian risk management should be part of this effort.

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Opportunism Knocks

Complex supply chains with many agents are more prone to problems, and on occasion, to spectacular collapse. Examples from the last few years include the subprime mortgage crisis; the failure of the Peanut Corporation of America; and dioxin-contaminated Irish pork. Without a doubt, today’s complex supply chains are vulnerable to opportunistic behavior leading to sometimes catastrophic failure. But there are five steps managers can take to protect their companies.

Image courtesy of Flickr user raspberreh.

Are You Ready to Reengineer Your Decision Making?

There has been enormous progress in embedding the use of analytics at lower levels of companies. But according to Thomas H. Davenport, professor at Babson College and one of the best-known thinkers about analytics and business intelligence, the upper levels of companies haven’t kept up.

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Julian Birkinshaw

Rethinking Management

Most executives spend a reasonable amount of time thinking about the business model for their organization. But how much time do they spend considering the company’s management model? In his book “Reinventing Management,” Julian Birkinshaw urges businesspeople to give more thought to management models. In a Q&A, Birkinshaw explains why management has been “corrupted” over the last 100 years, and what should change.

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Collaborative Strategy: A Q & A With Nilofer Merchant

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  • Read Time: 7 min 

Nilofer Merchant's The New How: Building Business Solutions Through Collaborative Strategy outlines how strategy with input from all employees is better than strategy from a few people at the top. It also outlines how to make it happen. "The bottom line is we don’t have the time in this economy to have a smallish group of people setting strategy or innovating or leading," she says.

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Image courtesy of Amazon.com

Your Next Supply Chain

How have strategies for supply chain design changed in recent years? What are the forces most profoundly shaping them now? What kinds of models have emerged for companies to consider, choose among or learn from? MIT professor and entrepreneur David Simchi-Levi and MIT professor Charles Fine — two of the world’s leading thinkers on supply chain and value chain design — offer answers to those questions and others.

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Management innovation: No easy task

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  • Read Time: 1 min 

Think product innovation is hard? Management innovation is even harder, according to Julian Birkinshaw of the London Business School.

Showing 21-40 of 93