1st Edition

Make Better Strategic Decisions How to Develop Robust Decision-making to Avoid Organisational Disasters

By Jeremy N. White Copyright 2024
    200 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    200 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Every day we hear of serious errors of judgement that result in organisational disaster. Why do seemingly successful businesses, NGOs, or even political parties fall prey to irrevocable governance breakdowns or, worse still, criminal malpractice? By prompting readers to think deeply about strategic decision-making, human behaviour, and cognitive biases, this book offers a disciplined, objective, and thoughtful approach to making better decisions.

    Every strategic problem is fundamentally a journey into the unknown, which involves a unique combination of duration, scale, external and internal dynamics, and personal motivations. Rarely is a strategic decision solved by saying, ‘If a situation is A, then the solution is B.’ The book explores how to develop a strong foundation for problem resolving – rather than simplistic problem-solving – by strengthening competence so that decisions are made wisely. The case of Carillion plc, the second-largest construction group in the United Kingdom that went bankrupt in January 2018, is used to explore how a large and profitable company collapsed so dramatically when it was run by an experienced board and advised by three of the Big Four accounting firms. Professor Jeremy N. White presents a clear strategic toolkit for better strategic decision-making.

    This book will appeal to senior managers who are interested in techniques for making better strategic decisions. The lessons from the failure of Carillion plc are applicable to corporate leaders in addition to politicians and those who run not-for-profit organisations.

    Introduction  1. Core Questions  2. Strategic Thinking  3. Carillion plc  4. Behavioural Management  5. Risk  6. Strategy as Paradox  7. Moral and Ethical Issues  8. Corporate Governance  9. Strategic Toolkit 10. Strategic Toolkit: Additional Perspectives


    Jeremy N. White is a tech entrepreneur with forty years’ experience in Europe and the United States, having taken three of his companies public. He serves on the board of Pepperdine University and is a visiting professor at Bayes Business School in London.

    "In this illuminating book, Professor White explores why leaders make poor decisions and provides an extensive toolkit to navigate through the messy realities of making strategic choices. The Carillion case illustrates what can go horribly wrong when executives fail to think through the consequences of their actions.”


    Professor Gianvito Lanzolla, Professor of Strategy and Digital Transformation, Bayes Business School, City, University of London


    “Strategic decision-making is vexing, pulling leaders in opposing directions amid growing complexity, change, and uncertainty. Jeremy White’s Make Better Strategic Decisions: How to Develop Robust Decision-making to Avoid Organisational Disasters is a must-read, offering deep insights and actionable practices to help leaders navigate strategic challenges.”

    Marianne W. Lewis, Author of Both/And Thinking: Embracing Tensions to Solve Your Toughest Problems; Dean and Professor of Management, University of Cincinnati


    "Jeremy White's book wonderfully does what it says on the tin: it gives a guide to strategic decision-making for leaders in the real world, facing complexity and difficulty and human frailty.  It's based in experience and reality.  And it's invaluable for the leaders of the future."    

    Lord Chris Smith, former Secretary of State for Culture