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This Element is an excerpt from Why Great Leaders Don't Take Yes for an Answer: Managing for Conflict and Consensus (9780131454392) by Michael A. Roberto. Available in print and digital formats.
Why so many organizations fall into the trap of “endless talk and no action”–and how to escape that trap, decide, and move forward!
In 1996, two large and well-respected Boston health-care institutions merged, bringing together more than 1,000 highly accomplished physicians. The marriage did not go smoothly. Financial losses escalated rapidly. Several CEOs tried and failed to execute a turnaround. Amid turmoil, Paul Levy took over. As he noted, everyone knew what had to be done, yet substantive organizational changes never materialized. The problem: a curious inability to decide.