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Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices Paperback – April 14, 1993
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"He covers a great deal of ground. His style is crisp, often arresting . . . A host of stories and case histories from Sears Roebuck, Marks & Spencer, IBM, Siemens, Mitsubishi, and other modern giants lend color and credibility to the points he makes . . . Most wide-ranging and comprehensive."-- "The Economist""Essential."-- "Library Journal""A landmark in management studies . . . The material covered is important to all managers regardless of functional area and size of organization."-- "Choice
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None of the management practices Drucker recommends is outdated.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!
The book focuses on 3 main things:
I. Practice of innovation
II. Practice of entrepreneurship
III. Entrepreneurial strategies
What i like about this book is talking about creative imitation and:
The do's of innovation:
1. Purposeful, systematic innovation with analysis of opportunities
2. Conceptual & perceptual innovation
3. Simple innovation
4. Effective innovation start small
5. Successful innovation aims at leadership
The don'ts of innovation:
1. Not to be too clever
2. Don't diversify, don't splinter, don't try to do too many things at once
3. Don't try to innovate for the future
The 3 Conditions of innovation:
1. Innovation is work, it requires knowledge
2. To succeed, innovators need to built on their strengths
3. Innovation has to be close to the market & focus on the market, indeed market-driven
Buy this book if you wish to have innovation in your company.
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