Those who know me would probably say I am a top-down decision man. In many ways this is true, but anyone who has run strategy decision projects or programmes will concur that any top-down decision is only as good as its bottom-up validation. Getting this balance right is critical to the strategic processes in organisations. We all know of strategies and programmes that have failed because the top-down decision was never validated, and the initial feel was way too optimistic. We all know of decision making processes that have been stymied because the fact collection process has become endlessly drawn out, meaning that decisions never get made. So, how do you achieve the correct balance?