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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great primer for middle managers
I'm a Vice President at a small public company, and I've been managing people for over ten years, and have an MBA from a top ranked business school. Still, I wish I had read this book when I first started managing people.

This certainly appears to me to be a book written by Andy Grove for his own managers at Intel, and I found it interesting to see how he...
Published on December 31, 2011 by J. Schulte

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Amazing company, unamazing book
Intel is one of the must successful technology corporations of our time. Under the leadership of Andy Grove, it has done stupendous. The question everyone wants to know is: how?

The books goes through the process of creating an organization that creates more. Grove covers just about everything; from meetings to being friends with employees (yes, it is...
Published 3 months ago by Sean Sheikh


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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great primer for middle managers, December 31, 2011
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This review is from: High Output Management (Paperback)
I'm a Vice President at a small public company, and I've been managing people for over ten years, and have an MBA from a top ranked business school. Still, I wish I had read this book when I first started managing people.

This certainly appears to me to be a book written by Andy Grove for his own managers at Intel, and I found it interesting to see how he thinks about management. Not surprisingly, he has a very pragmatic, operational view of what good managers do, and he presents a comprehensive guide for all the basics. His whole orientation is that managers are responsible for the total output of their teams, and his focus is always on accomplishments and outputs, not activities.

Topics that are included
- Looking at your operations and finding the bottle necks
- How to monitor and check your processes for high quality and high output
- How managers should spend their time, run team meetings, and stay in touch with subordinates through one on ones
- How to hire, coach, and provide feedback to build your team

What you won't find in this book
- How to think about strategy
- Competitive advantage
- Building a brand
- Competitive analysis

The book has been around for a while, and it's not a trendy management book. There is no new catch phrase or research based on fMRI or paradigm shift. There is nothing sexy or trendy. But it is a very solid introduction from someone who has proven to be among the best at managing. This is one of the great CEOs of our times, and I brilliant mind, passing along what he wants his managers to know. I think that many managers could vastly improve their performance if they studied and mastered the basics covered here rather than the nifty new concept from the latest HBR.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for teaching individual contributors the value of middle management, May 27, 2010
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This review is from: High Output Management (Paperback)
I spent the first 10 years of my engineering career happily as an individual contributor for startup type organizations. One day the VP of engineering asked me, "I would like you to to hire a few people under you to grow the team. We need to be at 50 people by the end of the year." My reaction was very mixed. On the one hand I liked being recognized with an implied promotion, on the other hand I was being asked to manage. From my perspective at the time the harder problems to solve were technical and I did not covet the job of a professional meeting goer. And besides I already pretty much managed myself, so what value do managers really add anyway?

I wish someone had handed me a copy of Grove's book: "High Output Management" earlier on. In it Grove, one of the worlds most successful and talented engineers, explains the essential value of middle management to an engineering organization. He also explains, among other things, many of the essential the tools for successful middle managers: how to think about priorities, the value of communication, a useful framework for scheduling and illustrating trade-offs and how people are intrinsically motivated. He comes across as credible, concrete and analytical. I.e. as a great engineer who manages great engineers.

I now hand out copies of this book to every engineer I find either considering making the transition to management or ones early in their managerial career struggling with finding self affirmation in the role. Like many great tools or resources, my only complaint is not finding this book sooner.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Solid management advice, March 17, 2014
By 
Alberto Vargas (San Francisco, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
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This review is from: High Output Management (Paperback)
I got this book because it was recommended by Ben Horowitz in The Hard Thing About Hard Things, another solid management book.

This book (High Output Management) dates from 1983 and it shows in the tone and subject matter. The book predates widespread email and talks a lot about manufacturing. However, these are not shortcomings. In fact, it is great that the author is not distracted by things like agile, lean, kanban, etc modern marvels. He makes an analogy between a fast food restaurant and other processes, including knowledge work and HR, and the analogy holds up. Of course, he also gives examples from his work at Intel.

Key highlights:

- what are high leverage activities and how to focus on them
- how many direct reports are optimal
- different types of meetings and how to run them, including 1:1s
- task relevant maturity (TRM) of employees and how to manage them accordingly
- how to give performance feedback
- compensation and promotions
- why and how you should invest in training programs
- how to try to keep an employee who is quitting

Everything is meat and potatoes of people and process management, and to the point. As I was reading this book, much of it resonated with my own experience, and at other times I was amazed at insights that showed me how Andy Grove truly was a top manager, after starting as a researcher and engineer.

I wish I had a mentor or manager as wise as Andy Grove.

Highly recommended.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Management in a nutshell, February 14, 2000
By 
Adam F. Jewell (Pittsburgh, PA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: High Output Management (Paperback)
Grove does an excellent job of relating production methods to something we can all understand, a food and beverage establishment. Aside from the production model, Grove opens the hood and examines compensation systems, meetings, employee review procedures and processes, and briefly discusses motivation ala Maslow's heirarchy. It's good, easy reading, and may be very informative and thought provoking to the open mind looking top gain a better understanding of Industrial Management.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great teaching tool, October 23, 1997
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This review is from: High Output Management (Paperback)
I came upon this book many years ago while an internal consultant for AT&T Bell Laboratories Technical Education. Since then I have found it to be a valuable tool in teaching the basics of management to students inside and outside of corporate structure. I still use it as a member of the faculty of Bloomfield College's Materials Management Institute.
Grove has managed to capture the essence of what a company is all about by using simple examples. No, this isn't a high concept leading edge management text. However, it does communicate the fundamentals of running a manufacturing company clearly and simply. It provides a foundation on which you can build the knowledge of the leading edge theories.
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38 of 54 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sound advice, if they really use it, September 11, 2002
This review is from: High Output Management (Paperback)
I worked at Intel for over 5 years, and although this book is chock full of excellent strategies and advice for managers, I saw very little evidence that these principles were being put into use in the company during the entire time I was there, at least in my division, which was one of the bigger ones at the company.
I will say, however, that Intel is a very odd place to work with its own unique corporate culture, some of which I would say is quite functional, but a lot of it isn't; or at least, the principles they say do work really don't, because nobody has the nerve to apply them.
A good example of this is their principle of "risk-taking." This gets talked about more than most of the Intel cultural values. The reason is simple, although they say that it's okay to take risks, and that you won't be penalized if you fail, the reality is that no-one in their right mind ever does it if they don't have to. And it's not because your manager will give you a [rear-end]-reaming like you've never had before if your calculated risk fails and becomes a total disaster. That won't happen, because, as I said, they really do take this risk-taking principle seriously. Your boss may even commend you for having the cojones to take the risk even if your little project becomes a spectacular failure.
The problem is in a much more serious area, unfortunately. If you fail, you'll get penalized through your performance review. (And if you're an exempt employee, all it takes is two below average performance reviews and you can be fired. They don't even have to be really poor reviews). Suppose you spend 6 months working on a risky project that fails. Now it's review time. Because you wasted so much time on this other project, you won't have very many other successful projects to brag about, compared to all the other employees who didn't have the cojones like you did to take a chance, but who now have lesser but at least successful projects they can ballyhoo during "ranking and rating," (or "ranting and raving," as it's called). Hence, you won't be able to compete in Intel's intensive and truly byzantine performance-review process, which insures that people pick safer but less potentially beneficial projects that they know they can pull off and bring in under the wire by review time.
Another very odd thing about working there is that teamwork is valued almost over and above technical competence and originality. In fact, I would have to say Intel employees are about the most docile, uncomplaining, non-individualistic, and basically whipped employees I've ever seen. Someone should tell these guys it's okay to have a spine or a ... once in a while, instead of going through their work-life as a totally whipped, spineless eclair. Quite frankly, I'm not the most studly, macho guy in the world, myself, but these guys make me look like Brad Pitt, George Clooney, and Arnold Schwarzenegger all rolled into one.
Anyway, whether the principles and strategies in this book are actually being put into practice or not, Andy Grove is certainly a brilliant manager, and Intel is a more than unusually interesting place to work.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Management - Straight from the horses mouth!, July 2, 2000
This review is from: High Output Management (Paperback)
This book made its way onto the short list of books that I have picked up and read cover to cover in one sitting. Andrew Grove helped create a small memory chip manufacturer, and in the face of increased foreign competition, turned his company around to create the largest producer of computer processor chips to date. This book is a concise explanation of the methods and tactics he used to make Intel what it is.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grove knows management. Management=Leverage, September 18, 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: High Output Management (Paperback)
Grove identifies what is critical in management. Leverage really only
happens when focused on the right things. He gives perspective on how to
determine that. Then also how to get results. This book is specific, to
the point. No fluff. He writes well and he has a track record of
incredible success that few have equaled. If you MUST get results then get the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One Of The Best, June 22, 2014
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This review is from: High Output Management (Paperback)
Specifically, the idea that the manager's job is to increase throughput of the organization changed the way I schedule my day and think about what must be done. You could build a career off that one idea... but there are many other valuable lessons here as well. All in all, one of the best business books I've ever read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars ABC's for managers, February 19, 2015
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This review is from: High Output Management (Paperback)
High Output Management provides a comprehensive overview of a managers role and purpose. The book focuses around a central thesis that a manager's objective is to increase the output of the work of those below and around him. A manager should therefore choose high-leverage activities that have a multiplicative impact on the overall output of his subordinates and peers. For example, providing clear direction to a team may only require a small amount of the manager's time, but yields tremendous value in terms of the output of the team.

This book is great for both new and experienced managers since it provides valuable frameworks and strategies for all kinds of common managerial tasks. Below are the core topics covered in this book:

* Delegation - In order to maximize leverage, a manager needs an optimal number of subordinates to whom he can delegate to. Successful delegation provides lots of leverage, whereas poor delegation ends up netting no leverage since it turns into errors and micro-management.
* Meetings - Meetings are extraordinarily expensive to a company. There are three types of recurring meetings: one-on-one's, staff meetings, and operational reviews. Each of these meetings should have a clear framework for maximizing value and minimizing time-waste. There are also one-off meetings centered around making a particular decision - such meetings should be especially carefully planned and executed since they are often scheduled ad-hoc without a clear purpose and with too many participants.
* Making decisions - When making decisions, there's a fragile power dynamic that needs to be carefully handled. Managers should facilitate free and open discussion amongst all parties until a consensus emerges. In cases where a consensus does not emerge naturally, the manager should push for a decision.
* Dual reporting - Dual reporting is inevitable in most large organizations. Consider advertising: should each division of a company decide and pursue its own advertising campaign, or should all of it be handled through a single corporate entity? The optimum solution calls for the use of dual reporting where each division controls most of their own advertising messages but a coordinating body of peers consisting of the various divisional marketing managers chooses the advertising agency and creative direction.
* Motivating employees - Our society respects someone's throwing himself into sports, but anybody who works very long hours is regarded as sick or a workaholic. Imagine how productive our country would become if managers could endow all work with the characteristics of competitive sports? Eliciting peak performance means going up against something or somebody, and turning the workplace into a playing field where subordinates become athletes dedicated to performing at the limit of their capabilities.
* Performance reviews - Performance reviews are easily mistaken as simply a way to assess performance and evaluate compensation. The fundamental goal of a performance review is to improve the subordinates performance. A review will influence a subordinate's performance for a long time, which makes the activity one of the manager's highest-leverage activities. Thus great care needs to be taken in the preparation and delivery of a performance review.
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High Output Management
High Output Management by Andrew S. Grove (Paperback - August 29, 1995)
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