The Greatest Business Decisions of All Time – Of course, making the best business decisions is more art than science. The search, in a sense, began about 20 years ago. At the time, I was looking for documentation for an executive program I launched in 1991 on the MIT campus with Edward Roberts and Vince Fulmer. What the program needs, in my opinion, is a deep case studies curriculum that could attract potential CEOs to join the program.
The Greatest Business Decisions of All Time: How Apple, Ford, IBM, Zappos, and others made radical choices that changed the course of business
What better way to do this than focus on great business decisions? Over the next two decades, I began to compile a list of what I believe are some of the best decisions made by the most successful companies in history. Finally, the 18 management decisions on our final list stand out from the others because they are counterintuitive – they go against common practice. Who is Andy Grove when he thinks that he can turn a commodity computer chip into a household name? Now we have “Intel Inside.” What the CEO has the right mindset gives his employees time to daydream – but that’s exactly what 3M CEO William McKnight did in 1948.
Many of these great decisions eventually created a storm of imitation— Google now allows employees to devote part of their time to their own projects, about 50 years after McKnight at 3M set precedent. However, a few of these ideas, such as Bill Gates’ decision to take a weekly or once a week off to read and think (a habit that has helped Microsoft change its strategy a number of times. ) has yet to be accepted. That’s not to say that Gates Thinking Week approach may not just suit some of today’s business leaders. In the end, all these great decisions stand the test of time, creating immense value as well as a lesson in running any business.