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Judgment Calls: Twelve Stories of Big Decisions and the Teams That Got Them Right by Laurence Prusak, Brook Manville, Thomas H. Davenport

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7

Ancient Athenians

How Can We Defend Against Life-or-Death Invasion?

IN THE LATE AFTERNOON OF THE JUNE SUN, in the summer of 480 BC, the sultry air that hung over the Pnyx was finally beginning to cool.1 Here, where Athenian citizens gathered to debate and vote on matters of state, the mood was tense. The shadows of the limestone and brick civic buildings had begun to lengthen as some six thousand men clustered together on stone circular benches, facing one another. Some listened, others were shouting, and the president of the day overseeing the proceedings before them all was having difficulty keeping order. Everyone knew that the vote of their assembled democratic citizenry that had just been called would spell loss or preservation of their ...

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