Map of developping countries, without least ad...
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By 2020, half of the world’s saving and investment will take place in emerging markets, and there will be a substantial gap between global investment demand and the world’s likely saving. This will put upward pressure on real interest rates and require adjustment by financial institutions, non-financial companies, investors, and policy makers.
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Thomas Stanley and William Danko wrote a book entitled:
The Millionaire Next Door … The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy”.
They produced a portrait of who America’s millionaires are and show that by and large these are quiet, understated, self-reliant Americans who are committed to hard work, education, and family.
Their portrait shows that eighty percent of our millionaires are first generation affluent, that less than half received not a cent of inheritance, and only 19% get any income from a trust fund or estate.

Most Americans … 80% … are not self-employed … of those that are, two thirds are our millionaires.

Seventy five percent of these self-employed millionaires are entrepreneurs, and the remaining quarter are self-employed professionals like doctors and accounts.
Sure, we have high profile billionaires in America, however most of our millionaires are the nation’s bread and butter entrepreneurs and small business owners with annual incomes near $250,000.
These are overwhelmingly self-made individuals, by a large founders and proprietors of prosaic businesses like: welding contractors, auctioneers, rice farmers, owners of mobile-home parks, pest controllers, coin and stamp dealers, paving contractors, etc.
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Many companies struggle to make and execute key decisions. Our Decision Insights series describes a five-step process that can boost your organization’s decision effectiveness and improve its performance. In this issue, we explain how the third step enables companies to reset individual decisions so that they work smoothly and effectively. We think of the four parts of this process as fixing the What, Who, How, and When of the decision. The article summarized below will help you address each one.

By Marcia W. Blenko, Michael C. Mankins and Paul Rogers

Too many organizations fail to make and execute their critical decisions well, and their performance suffers as a result. But you can reset key decisions to get them working better. The key is to focus on just four elements:

  • Clarify the what of the decision. Help everyone understand exactly what decision is under consideration.
  • Determine the who. Specify who will play the key roles—recommending a course of action, offering input, signing off on the recommendation, making the decision and then executing it.
  • Understand the how. Establish a clear process for gathering data, agreeing on criteria and preparing alternatives.
  • Make the when explicit. Create clear timelines for making the decision—and executing it.

The four steps together are a great way to cut through logjams and get things working more effectively. We describe each step in detail and show how companies apply them in our book Decide & Deliver, and on the website

Download the PDF

Read past issues of Decision Insights:

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By Marcia W. Blenko, Michael C. Mankins and Paul Rogers

One thing that sets great companies apart is the ability to make high-quality decisions. But it isn’t just decision quality—the top performers also make those decisions quickly and execute them effectively. And they don’t spend too much or too little effort in the process.

So it’s important to assess your performance on all these factors—decision quality, speed, yield (or execution) and effort. A good way to begin is to survey a cross-section of people throughout the organization. You can then add rigor with face-to-face interviews and focused data gathering using the decision X-ray that we describe in our book, Decide & Deliver, and on the website The goal is to answer some key questions: What percentage of the time does the organization make the right decisions? Are decisions made faster or slower than competitors? Is there too much (or too little) effort involved?

To learn more, download the PDF

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MUNICH, GERMANY - DECEMBER 01:  (L-R) Siegfrie...
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AUGUST 2010 • Jacques Bughin, Michael Chui, and James Manyika

Source: McKinsey Global Institute

Advancing technologies and their swift adoption are upending traditional business models. Senior executives need to think strategically about how to prepare their organizations for the challenging new environment.

Read article and listen to a series of podcasts on the McKinsey

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Great Decisions
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By Marcia W. Blenko, Michael C. Mankins and Paul Rogers

Some decisions clearly stand out as important. They’re the big, high-value strategic choices made in every part of the organization. Senior leaders decide whether to make a big acquisition. IT decides whether to invest in a major systems upgrade.

But many organizations overlook a second category that can be equally significant: operating decisions that seem small but that are made and remade frequently and generate a lot of value over time. Most companies have a similar set of decisions made day in and day out by people close to the frontlines of the business.

To identify the key decisions in these two categories, you can use a tool we call decision architecture that we describe in our book, Decide & Deliver, and on the website The result is a list of your critical decisions?the top 20 or 30 decisions that must work well for the business to succeed. Once you know your critical decisions, you can identify how well they are working and take the right actions to improve them.

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One of the Tupperware's Ultraplus line product
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by Bain partners Ashish Singh and Satish Shankar
BusinessWeek Asia
Thanks to such products as the “roti keeper” and the “masala box,” Tupperware has become the leading kitchenware seller in the Indian market. Five decades after the “Tupperware party” was introduced in the US, the kitchenware brand’s unusual distribution strategy has proven to be a hit in the Indian market where the company has grown 30% a year since entering the market in 1996.
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