The good folks at McKinsey have some insights. (You'll need to register to read the entire article, but it's free.)
Key findings of their survey:
- More than three-quarters of investments were aimed at revenue growth, and among decisions related to human resources, the majority aimed to improve efficiency or productivity.
- A majority of decisions were undertaken at the request of the CEO or the executive committee
- More decisions were made outside an annual planning process than within one.
- Nearly two-thirds of respondents say they expected their decision to pay off within two years of implementation.
- Operations executives had significant influence on only about a third of the most financially unsuccessful decisions, reinforcing findings from other surveys that companies frequently overlook execution when making decisions.