The Decision-Driven Organization Harvard Business Review – June 2010 The subject discussed in the article “Decision–Driven Organization” is that structural reorganizations should be done based on the decisions that matter the most to the organization instead of the goals that the organization is trying to reach. The coauthors stressed on how important this issue is and that it should be taken into consideration by organizations while preparing for reorganization since.
As shown in the examples provided, a lot of companies went through structural changes for the wrong reasons aiming at a better performance and ended up decreasing it instead of increasing it. On the other hand, the examples about decision-driven reorganization had better results in improving the company’s performance.
The coauthors focused in specific on the reasons why reorganization should be done around the set of critical decisions for an organization and supported it with examples and surveys about reputed companies showing that reorganizations around goals failed in view of the facts that it ignored the decision making process and that performance and structure don’t have a strong relationship. The arguments that the authors used to demonstrate his point are the performance and the importance of decisions.
As per the coauthors, the main goal of all reorganization is to reach better performance. What the managers fail to see is, that the performance of an organization is not only determined by the organization’s structure; as shown by the examples provided in this article, sometimes changing the structure to meet a certain goal can slow the decision making and create problems rather than help solve them which results in a poor performance.
The methodology used in this point is very convincing especially that it shows the result of a survey conducted on a large amount of organizations worldwide, and the coauthors added a short test to give the readers the ability to compare the result of their organization to the result of those who were subject to the survey. The coauthors also debated the fact that using a SWOT analysis is not the right tool to be used while starting reorganization and suggested to start it with decision audit instead; a decision audit is done by considering two types of critical decisions, big decisions which have separately a major impact and small decisions which have altogether an important impact; and then, if and only if reorganization is necessary it should be applied where the decisions matter the most. The authors also supported this suggestion with an actual example dated from 2006 which strengthened their point.
Each suggestion in the decision audit was supported with an example which attracted the reader towards using this strategy. Another tool used by the coauthors to help the readers rethink twice before reorganizing a company is a small survey that should be conducted on the company in hand in order to check if the reorganization is needed or not. The authors also discussed how to conduct a decision-driven structure and what are the steps to be followed chronologically.