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Innovation and Entrepreneurship Paperback – May 9, 2006
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''Drucker now adds Innovation and Entrepreneurship to the remarkable series of books about management that he has been writing since 1939. Any book by Drucker is rewarding, and it is impossible to read the man without learning a lot.'' --Fortune
''Our most enduring commentator on the practice of management and the economic institutions of society.'' --Business Week
''On bookshelves crowded with books on management principles and practice and promising success and profit to their purchasers, this book stands head and shoulders above the rest.'' --Accountant's Magazine
''Thoughtful, concise, and useful.'' --Technology Review
''This work is unique . . . A thoughtful analysis of what the future holds . . . A clear statement of principles with many supporting examples. Essential for all business collections.'' --Library Journal --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Peter F. Drucker is considered the most influential management thinker ever. The author of more than twenty-five books, his ideas have had an enormous impact on shaping the modern corporation. Drucker passed away in 2005.
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Top Customer Reviews
None of the management practices Drucker recommends is outdated. A very few points he makes have been overtaken by events. But they won't do any harm, because they are easily recognized. On the other hand, some of his predictions, made so many years ago, have turned out to be right on the button. This carries great weight with me because it indicates that he knows what he is saying.
Other reviewers were correct about getting this early edition. I got the more recent edition at the library. A lot of it did not seem to be Drucker's style. So I bought the original. Presuming that I successfully master and apply all of this edition, Then I'll buy the most recent edition.
In my best reviews, I cite examples from the book. It's hard to do that here, because Drucker covers so much ground and provides countless examples. So I'll share the one point that hit me the hardest: when an action should be done, do it; don't avoid the painful solutions, because delay only allows the problems to grow worse.
I personally latched onto his thinking. It made sense! It worked! I carried it with me to other companies on Wall Street as I grew into management positions, and later in the Management area of several computer manufacturer's Software Engineering Research and Design departments.
Drucker was famous for the whole concept of Management by Objectives (MBO). Besides being the "latest craze," it met with great success. It was a logical tool for businesses to plan their growth, future, operations and the management of their day-to-day business, departments, etc. This grew into what we know today as Strategic Planning.
This book still has tremendous value today. I have replaced my original hardcover copy twice. It has stood the test of time. I find that the most valuable chapter in this good-sized book has been Chapter 36, "The Spirit of Performance." That was a chapter which emphasized:
To Make Common Men & Women Do Uncommon Things--The Test Is Performance, Not Good Feelings--Focus on Strength--Practices, Not Preachments--The Danger of Safe Mediocrity--What "Performance" Means--What to Do with the Non-performer--"Conscience" Decisions--Focus on Opportunity--"People" Decisions--The Control of an Organization--Integrity, the Touchstone.
It basically encompassed the most essential things a manager had to know about managing, motivating and dealing with people. It spoke of things like responsibilities, accountability and fairness. It was extremely uplifting. For instance, it taught:
The spirit of performance requires that there be full scope for individual excellence. The focus must be on the strengths of a man--on what he(/she) can do rather than on what he(/she) cannot do.
"Morale" in an organization does not mean that "people get along together"; the test is performance, not conformance. Human relations that are not grounded in the satisfaction of good performance in work are actually poor human relations and result in a mean spirit. And there is no greater indictment of an organization than that the strength and ability of the outstanding man(/woman) become a threat to the group and his performance a source of difficulty, frustration, and discouragement for the others.
Spirit of performance in a human organization means that its energy output is larger than the sum of the efforts put in. It means the creation of energy. This cannot be accomplished by mechanical means. A mechanical contrivance can, at its theoretical best, conserve energy, but it cannot create it. To get out more than is being put in is possible only in the moral sphere.
Morality does not mean preachments. Morality, to have any meaning at all, must be a principle of action. It must not be exhortation, sermon, or good intentions. It must be practices.
Thirty-six years later, I still go back to this. I have had reason twice to go back to this just in the last few months. This and an essay, "A Man Subject to Authority." from a spiritual book, "Unprofitable Servants: Conferences on Humility," by Nivard Kinsella, O.S.C.O., were resources I kept close at hand and referred to frequently. Coming from two completely different sources they seemed to compliment each other very well. The essay began it with, "Humility is the most necessary of all the virtues. It is so at all times and for everyone. If it can be said to be more necessary for one than for another, that one is the person who is in authority." In a sense, it could have fit right into Drucker's chapter on "The Spirit of Performance." I think both were bordering on sort of a universal truth concerning dealings with people.
I think, even after retirement, I'll have a copy of both of these books, which open first to the above sections, in close proximity--never too far away! In fact, only a few months ago, I bought an audio copy of the book on CDs. I hope to listen to the whole thing sometime in the near future. Why? It always seems to spur me on. In writing this, I once again took a look at the end of Ch. 36. It does me good. We need more of this in our country. I'll share it with you here:
This chapter has talked of "practices." It has not talked of "leadership." This was intentional. There is no substitute for leadership. But management cannot create leaders. It can only create the conditions under which potential leadership qualities become effective; or it can stifle potential leadership. The supply of leadership is much too uncertain to be depended upon for the creation of the spirit the enterprise needs to be productive and to hold together.
But practices, though seemingly humdrum, can always be practiced whatever a man's aptitudes, personality, or attitudes. They require no genius--only application. They are things to do rather than to talk about.
And the right practices should go a long way toward bringing out, recognizing, and using whatever potential for leadership there is in the management group. They should also lay the foundation for the right kind of leadership. For leadership is not magnetic personality--that can just as well be demagoguery. It is not "making friends and influencing people" that is flattery. Leadership is the lifting of a man's vision to higher sights, the raising of a man's performance to a higher standard, the building of a man's personality beyond its normal limitations. Nothing better prepares the ground for such leadership than a spirit of management that confirms in the day-to-day practices of the organization strict principles of conduct and responsibility, high standards of performance, and respect for the individual and his work.
That's what makes this book great!
I fully concur that this book is the first book to present innovation & entrepreneurship as a purposeful & systematic discipline. The book concists of three major parts:
- Part I: The Practice of Innovation;
- Part II: The Practice of Entrepreneurship;
- Part III: Entrepreneurial Strategies;
According to the author, entrepreneurial strategies are as important as purposeful innovation & entrepreneurial management. Together, they make up innovation & entrepreneurship.
What I like most about the book is the author's clear definition & concise elaboration of innovation as a disciplined business practice. He makes a very clear distinction: "Business, because of its purpose, has just two functions, & only two: MARKETING & INNOVATION. Marketing & Innovation make money. Everything else is a cost."
Best of all, he also provides some general guidelines for identifying innovative opportunities.
As a matter of fact, in Part I of the book, he describes the seven sources for innovative opportunities. Each of these seven sources are systematically covered in a specific chapter. For all entrepreneur-wannabes out there, understanding these 'innovative secrets of success' alone is worth the price of the entire book.
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Author of Winning At Entrepreneurship, Your Raise The Bar Primer: Mental Performance Tools