Corporate books are not everybody’s cup of tea if written in a bulky language and cryptic style that only CEOs and management employees can understand. However, there are some authors who make things easy to understand even for common readers who aspire to become corporate magnets – the students, the fresh minds with an MBA, or an entry-level management employee. Such a book has been written by Harjeet Khanduja, the senior vice president of HR, at Reliance Jio. How Leaders Decide: Tackling Biases and Risks in Decision-making is a recent book, one of many published books, by Harjeet Khanduja. Though this book is ideal for readers who are involved in the decision-making process for the corporate companies, anyone who aspires to become successful in the rising corporate sector with an abundance of opportunities for the young and the talented will certainly benefit a lot from this quality book. In this article, I will review Harjeet’s book.
There are 25 chapters in this book. There are five parts and each part contains 5 chapters. The author has divided the book into five parts in such a way that a reader can easily navigate through the complex process of organisational decision-making – right from understanding why it is different from simple and individual decision-making to understanding how to make organisational decision-making effective, impactful and visionary in order to achieve the desired goals. And one more important thing, the book contains appreciations from leading personalities in the corporate sector, including a foreword by Harsh Goenka.
There are innovative chapter titles that attract the readers. For example, chapters like Laugh with Many, Don’t Trust Any, Creativity is Contagious, Disconnect to Reconnect, and Unintelligent Passion attracted my attention rather quickly. And these chapters were wonderful to read as well. I enjoyed reading Harjeet’s observations and there was a lot to run as well. Every chapter begins with a quote that is related to the content being discussed and ends with a quote as well. There are initial introductions to the subject of concern in every chapter and also the final observations by the author in the end. In between, you will find a comprehensive analysis of various aspects of the subject of concern. Moreover, every chapter has a list of references that one can cross-check to ensure the data, figures and arguments are backed by concrete evidence.
Once you begin reading the book, you will realise that Harjeet Khanduja has used his personal experience, his corporate experience, his education, and lessons from mistakes made by leading names in the corporate sector (such as the founder of CCD) to draw important perspectives and present the same to the readers of this book. He has focused on introducing organisational decision-making to the readers in the first part of the book. In the first part, you will get to read about various styles of decision-making, decision-making philosophies, the best decision-making style for growth, DDM, Group decisions vs individual decisions, hierarchies, and many other aspects of the organisational decision-making process.
In the second part, the author has discussed various ways to find means to make the decision-making process effective for organisations. How to use data, big data, making the front line works competent and giving them the space to make their own decisions, fixing accountability and many other things are discussed in the second part of the book, with references and examples that any reader interested in the corporate sector will easily recall. In the third part, Harjeet has analysed the ways to further enhance the decision-making environment. In this part, the chapters become innovative, loaded with content in a very effective manner and also interesting. In chapter 13, Strength Lies in Differences, the author has focused on the positive impact of diversity in a decision-making environment – gender diversity, task-oriented diversity, relationship-oriented diversity, age diversity, and cultural diversity. He has further gone on to discuss how to adapt the CLUES model to make the decision-making environment better and performance-ready. Part 3 of the book impressed me the most.
Part 4 of the book deals with biases that impact our decision-making in the organisations and how can we tackle the problems that occur. And ultimately, in part 5, the author deals with the execution of the decisions that are made. In chapter 21, Execution Planning, the author writes in the penultimate paragraph:
“Execution becomes simple if it is planned well. The first milestone for the execution project is the kick-off meeting. All the stakeholders must be invited for the kick-off meeting. This meeting sets the visions and tone for the execution project.”
Further in this part of the book, the author deals with many important aspects of the execution of the decisions – overseeing, setting goals, reviewing the same, managing the teams, and how to manage big and small changes if that’s the execution of the decisions made…
To conclude, How Leaders Decide by Harjeet Khanduja is a well-written, well-planned, well-developed and well-oriented book that serves the purpose it intends to fulfil. This is a perfect example of the expertise of the author – he knows how to plan, execute and achieve goals. For leaders, wannabe leaders, would-be leaders, aspiring corporate employees and dreamers, this book will be a very effective resource to learn many important lessons that will help them excel in their roles and bring positive changes in their overall performance in their designated roles.
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Review by Ashish for Indian Book Critics
How Leaders Decide: Tackling Biases and Risks in Decision-Making by Harjeet Khanduja – Book Review
- IBC Rating
How Leaders Decide: Tackling Biases and Risks in Decision-Making by Harjeet Khanduja is a must-read book for the employees in the corporate sector who dream to achieve bigger goals in life… a well-written and well-researched book that is scientific, easy to follow and very effective in terms of persuasion.
I have read the book and I echo your thoughts. Well reviewed.