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High Output Management Paperback – August 29, 1995

4.6 out of 5 stars 98 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"An organizational Baedeker for managers at all levels. . . . A highly credible handbook for organizing work and directing and developing employees." —The New York Times

“[Andy’s] book played a big role in shaping my management style.” —Mark Zuckerberg, cofounder and CEO of Facebook

"A good book, generous enough with advice and observations to be required reading." —The Wall Street Journal

"A great book. . . . Its elementary prescriptions form the basis of a highly effective management style." —San Francisco Chronicle

"An important book which says some very important things . . . beautifully and with style." —Peter Drucker 

High Output Management is a bible that every entrepreneur and every manager in the country should look at, read and understand.” —Bill Campbell, former Intuit CEO

“Andy exemplifies the best of Silicon Valley. Andy built the model for what a high quality Silicon Valley company could be.” —Marc Andreessen, creator of the original Mosaic and Netscape web browsers

From the Inside Flap

This is a user-friendly guide to the art and science of management from Andrew S. Grove, the president of America's leading manufacturer of computer chips. Groves recommendations are equally appropriate for sales managers, accountants, consultants, and teachers--anyone whose job entails getting a group of people to produce something of value. Adapting the innovations that have made Intel one of America's most successful corporations, High Output Management teaches you:
what techniques and indicators you can use to make even corporate recruiting as precise and measurable as manufacturing
how to turn your subordinates and coworkers into members of highly productive team
how to motivate that team to attain peak performance every time
Combining conceptual elegance with a practical understanding of the real-life scenarios that managers encounter every day, High Output Management is one of those rare books that have the power to revolutionize the way we work

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; 2nd edition (August 29, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679762884
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679762881
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (98 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,544 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. Schulte on December 31, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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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.
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