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To Be a Better Leader, Ask Better Questions
May 9, 2019 | WSJ | By Hal Gregersen. Dr. Gregersen is executive director of the MIT Leadership Center, a senior lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management and author of “Questions Are the Answer.”

1. Understand what kinds of questions spark creative thinking. The best questions really knock down barriers to creative thinking and channel energy down new, more productive pathways. A question that does has five traits. It reframes the problem. It intrigues the imagination. It invites others’ thinking. It opens up space for different answers. And it’s nonaggressive—not posed to embarrass, humiliate or assert power over the other party. Ask employees: “What are you wrestling with and how can I help?” Ask customers and supply-chain partners: “If you were in my shoes, what would you be doing differently than what you see us doing today?”
2. Create the habit of asking questions. in the early stages of building your questioning capacity, it’s helpful to start by copying other people’s questions. It’s the equivalent of practicing your scales. Once you’ve got the scales down, you can start to improvise..... management thinker Peter Drucker, liked to jump-start strategic thinking by asking: “What changes have recently happened that don’t fit ‘what everyone knows’ ”?

Another example: A leader in a consumer packaged-goods company constantly asks: “What more can we do to delight the customer at the point of purchase? And what more to delight them at the point of consumption?”......builds the habit of thinking in questions, which, in turn, leads to daily inquiry about matters large and small, and an organization that keeps pushing its competitive advantages forward.
3. Fuel that habit by making yourself generate new questions...... generate new and better questions, not to cap your questioning career at the level of playing flawless scales.
4. Respond with the power of the pause. When someone comes to you with a problem, don’t immediately respond with an answer. ........Instead, make it your habit to respond with a question—ideally one that reframes the problem, but at least one that draws out more of your colleague’s thoughts on the matter. ....not talking about the cop-out rejoinder of, “Well, what do YOU think we should do?” Help the person think through how the decision should be made, with questions like: “What are we optimizing for?” “What’s the most important thing we have to achieve with whatever direction we take?” Or: “What makes this decision so hard? What problem felt like this in the past?” You'll be teaching your colleagues the value of pausing to get the question right before rushing to the answer. And nine times out of 10, you’re going to wind up with a better answer than the one you would have blurted out with less deliberation.
5. Brainstorm for questions. Whenever you/ your team finds itself at an impasse, or there is a sense that some insight is eluding you regarding a problem or opportunity, just stop and spend four minutes generating nothing but questions about it--question bursts. Don’t spend a second answering the questions, or explaining why you posed a certain one. As in brainstorming, go for high volume and do no editing in progress. See if you can generate at least 15-20.
6. Reward your questioners. Bosses should reconceive what their primary job is. They aren’t there to come up with today’s best answers, or even just to get their teams to come up with them. Their job is to build their organization’s capacity for constant innovation.
Their enterprise’s future—and their own career trajectory—depends on their resolve to ask better questions.
books  brainstorming  creativity  creative_thinking  follow-up_questions  habits  imagination  innovation  leaders  nonaggressive  organizational_capacity  Peter_Drucker  Philip_Mudd  power_of_the_pause  problem_definition  problem_framing  questions  strategic_thinking 
may 2019 by jerryking
Strategy or Culture: Which Is More Important?
“Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” These words, often attributed to Peter Drucker, are frequently quoted by people who see culture at the heart of all great companies. Those same folks like to cite the likes of Southwest Airlines, Nordstrom, and Zappos, whose leaders point to their companies’ cultures as the secret of their success.

The argument goes something like this: “Strategy is on paper whereas culture determines how things get done. Anyone can come up with a fancy strategy, but it’s much harder to build a winning culture. Moreover, a brilliant strategy without a great culture is ‘all hat and no cattle,’ while a company with a winning culture can succeed even if its strategy is mediocre. Plus, it’s much easier to change strategy than culture.” The argument’s inevitable conclusion is that strategy is mere ham and eggs for culture.

But this misses a big opportunity to enhance the power of both culture and strategy. As I see it, the two most fundamental strategy questions are:

1. For the company, what businesses should you be in?

2. And for each of those businesses, what value proposition should you go to market with?

A company’s specific cultural strengths must be central to answering that first question. For example, high-margin, premium-product companies that serve wealthy customers do not belong in businesses where penny-pinching is a source of great pride and celebrated behavior. Southwest has chosen not to enter a NetJets-like business, and that’s a sound decision.

Likewise, companies whose identity and worth are based on discovery and innovation do not belong in low-margin, price-competitive businesses. For example, pharmaceutical companies that traditionally compete by discovering novel, patentable drugs and therapies will struggle to add value to businesses competing in generics. The cultural requirements are just too different. This is why universal banks struggle to win in both commercial and investment banking. Whatever synergies they might enjoy (for instance, from common customers and complementary capital needs) are more than offset by the cultural chasm between these two businesses: the value commercial bankers put on containing risk and knowing the customer, versus the value investment bankers have for taking risk and selling innovative financial products.

Maintaining cultural coherence across a company’s portfolio should be an essential factor when determining a corporate strategy. No culture, however strong, can overcome poor choices when it comes to corporate strategy. For example, GE has one of the most productive cultures in the world, and its former leader, Jack Welch, concedes that his acquisition of Kidder Peabody was a failure because its cultural needs did not fit GE’s cultural strengths. The impact of culture on a company’s success is only as good as its strategy is sound.

No culture, however strong, can overcome poor choices when it comes to corporate strategy.

Culture also looms large in answering the second question above. In most businesses, customers consider more than concrete features and benefits when choosing between alternative providers; they also consider “the intangibles.” In fact, these often become the tiebreaker when tangible differences are difficult to discern. For example, most wealthy individuals choose financial advisors more for their personal chemistry or connections than their particular range of mutual funds. Virgin Airlines tries to attract passengers who like its offbeat, non-establishment attitude in how it operates. Culture experts are right to point out Southwest, Nordstrom, and Zappos because these companies have instilled norms of behavior that are essential features of their winning value propositions: from offering consistently low-price, high-quality service in Southwest’s case, to consistently delivering surprising staff service at Nordstrom and leading customer satisfaction at Zappos. What these companies really demonstrate is how culture is an essential variable—much like your product offering, pricing policy, and distribution channels—that should be considered when choosing strategies for your individual businesses. This is especially so when the behavior of your people, and particularly your frontline staff, can give you an edge with your customers.

Strategy must be rooted in the cultural strengths you have and the cultural needs of your businesses. If culture is hard to change, which it is, then strategy is too. Both take years to build; both take years to change. This is one of the many reasons that established companies struggle with big disruptions in their markets. For example, all the major credit card companies are seeking to transition from traditional payments to digital commerce. This shift in strategy will be difficult to pull off. It not only requires a cultural change, but also a change in companies’ target customer, value propositions, and essential capabilities—the three most fundamental choices a business strategy comprises!

Consigning strategy to just a morning meal for culture does injustice to both. Confining culture to the narrow role of “enabling” strategy prevents it from strengthening strategy by being part of it. It also weakens the power of strategy to turn your company’s cultural strengths into a source of enduring advantage.

Don’t let culture eat strategy for breakfast. Have them feed each other.
cultural_clash  cultural_change  intangibles  management  organizational_culture  Peter_Drucker  questions  quotes  strategy  synergies  value_propositions  via:enochko  unscalability 
march 2019 by jerryking
Peter's Principles, Market Research and Forecasting Article | Inc.com
Excerpts and thoughts on "Adventures of a Bystander"

Drucker looks for simplicity but likes to convey complexity. He loves simplicity but realizes that getting there means making connections: to the past, to related fields. He answers questions by trotting through history, art, science. Listening to him, you learn not just the answer but also how to make connections between disparate subjects and thus deepen your understanding. It makes you, the listener, more valuable as an adviser and teacher.

History is Drucker's primary tool for complexifying. "I'm not a professional historian," he says, "but I've learned that nothing helps me as much in my work as a little bit of historical knowledge about a country, technology, or industry. Every few years I pick another major topic and read in it for three years. It's not long enough to make me an expert, but it's long enough to understand what the field is all about. I've been doing this for 60 years."
Peter_Drucker  advice  simplicity  complexity  consigliere  history  interconnections  connecting_the_dots  contextual  industry_expertise 
april 2015 by jerryking
Why Small Businesses Are Starting to Win Again - The New Yorker
JANUARY 24, 2015
Small Is Bountiful
BY TIM WU

Farmers who sell, say, organic or free-range foods, cannot hope to compete based on price. Instead, they try to create consumers who won’t eat chicken produced by big companies for moral, health, or aesthetic reasons...The true-differentiation strategy seems to work best when scale, despite its efficiencies, also introduces blind spots in areas such as customer service, flavor, curation, or other intangibles not entirely consistent with mass production and standardization. Where getting big begins to hurt the product, small can be bountiful.

=====================================
it is a two-part problem. No. 1, the consumer and competitive marketplace is definitely shifting. For example, quality has evolved beyond just good ingredients, preparation and packaging. Basic quality is a given now; many consumers are looking for something extra: less mass-produced, natural, local.

No. 2, iconic food companies and their mature brands are not responding effectively. Large, established food companies and their brands are being managed as portfolios of revenue and profit streams with a short-term financial orientation, and not as companies that produce food products. Small companies, on the other hand, are being created and managed by people with a food orientation and passion.
small_business  size  scaling  Tim_Wu  Peter_Drucker  portfolio_management  Gulliver_strategies  differentiation  trends  breweries  beers  craftsmanship  artisan_hobbies_&_crafts  revenge_effects  blind_spots  personal_values  market_segmentation  mass_production  decreasing_returns_to_scale  aesthetics  eco-friendly  creating_demand  food  foodies  gourmet  large_companies 
january 2015 by jerryking
The COO—An Enigma to Many | Venture Philanthropy Partners
When contemplating the COO role, it’s important to focus on substance over form. Specifically, the title of COO (the form) is much less important than an organization coming to grips with its need for effective operational management—that is, the management capacity (people, systems, and know-how) that allows an organization to ensure that its “trains run on time” (the substance). And, the colloquialism of the “trains running on time” means that things run effectively and efficiently, within budget, and with the information to know in a timely manner when they are (or aren’t) doing so.

But, an important caveat for good operational management comes from a favorite Druckerism: “It is more important to do the right thing, than to do things right.” I’d prefer a nonprofit producing meaningful, lasting outcomes for children and families that is an operational disaster to one that is “well-managed”, but having only incremental benefit in helping those they serve.

Effective operations must yield improved results. In business, this is measured in profits, market share, low employee turnover, and satisfied clients.... operational effectiveness? Well-written job descriptions, elaborate policies and procedures, human resource management guidelines and handbooks, expensive software systems, and a score of other things, in all honesty, have little to do with it. These are merely symbols, not the essence of good operations. If you have a clear vision of your work that is commonly shared, if people know what to do, if they care deeply and are well-trained and equipped for their work, if they feel respected and heard, if there is good internal communication, if programs are of high quality, if leaders demonstrate a continual need for the organization and those in it to improve, and if you establish a rigor and integrity in how all of this is managed by using timely, factual information and managerial common sense—then you can have “good operations.”
COO  executive_management  operations  Peter_Drucker  on-time 
july 2014 by jerryking
The Real Reagan Lesson for Romney-Ryan - WSJ.com
August 30, 2012 | WSJ | By GEORGE GILDER.

George Gilder: The Real Reagan Lesson for Romney-Ryan
Follow Peter Drucker's advice: Don't solve problems, pursue opportunities. Like unlocking America's entrepreneurial value.
George_Gilder  Mitt_Romney  Paul_Ryan  Peter_Drucker 
august 2012 by jerryking
Real-World Advice for the Young
04.11.05 | Forbes | Rich Karlgaard.

We owe our young people ...a set of "road rules" for the real world.

Purpose. Every young person needs to know that he was created for a purpose. ...I would, however, argue that there is also an economic purpose to our lives. It is to discover our gifts, make them productive and find outlets for their best contribution.

Priorities. The best single piece of advice from Peter Drucker: Stop thinking about what you can achieve; think about what you can contribute (to your company, your customers, your marriage, your community). This is how you will achieve. Enron had an achievement-first culture; it just achieved the wrong things...how many schools teach young people to think in terms of contribution?

Preparation. Lest you think I'm urging young people down a Mother Teresa-like path of self-sacrifice, I'm not. The task is to fit purpose and contribution into a capitalistic world. There is a crying need for prepared young people who can thrive in a realm of free-market capitalism. This great system works magnificently, but it doesn't work anything like the way it's taught in most universities. In the real world, the pie of resources and wealth is not fixed; it is growing all the time. In the real world, the game is not rigged and static; rather, money and talent move at the speed of light in the direction of freedom and opportunity. In the real world, greed is bad (because it takes your eye off customers), but profits are very good. Profits allow you to invest in the future. In the real world, rising living standards do not create pollution. Instead, they create an informed middle class that wants and works to reduce pollution.

Pan-global view. The economy is global.... There is no going back.

Partner. Many of the great startups of the last 30 years began as teams of two...Behind this phenomenon is a principle: Build on your strengths. To mitigate your weaknesses--and we all have them--partner up! Find your complement.
Perseverance. Young people are smarter and more sophisticated today. It's not even close. My own generation's SAT scores look like they came out of baseball's dead-ball era. But apart from the blue-collar kids who are fighting in Iraq, most American kids today are soft. That's a harsh statement, isn't it? But cultural anecdotes back it up. Kids weigh too much. Fitness is dropping. Three American high schoolers ran the mile in under four minutes in the 1960s. It's been done by one person since. Parents sue coaches when Johnny is cut from the team. Students sue for time extensions on tests. New college dorms resemble luxury hotels. College grads, unable to face the world, move back in with their parents and stay for years.

Does this sound like a work force you'd send into combat against the Chinese?
in_the_real_world  Rich_Karlgaard  advice  Peter_Drucker  youth  students  entrepreneurship  partnerships  rules_of_the_game  purpose  globalization  Junior_Achievement  perseverance  millennials  serving_others  priorities  preparation  profits  greed  fitness  talent_flows  capital_flows  static  risk-mitigation  complacency  blue-collar  Chinese  capitalism  self-sacrifice  young_people  anecdotal 
august 2012 by jerryking
Managing: What entrepreneurs should watch out for
July 16, 1996 | The Globe and Mail |

fourth pitfall is the most difficult, Mr. Drucker says. “It's when the business is a success and the entrepreneur begins to put himself before the business. Now he asks himself, ‘What do I want to do? What's my role?’ "Those are the wrong questions. If you start out with them, you invariably end up killing yourself and the business. You should be asking, ‘What does the business need at this stage?’ The next question is: ‘Do I have those qualities?’
Peter_Drucker  entrepreneur  challenges  selfishness  pitfalls  cash  self-analysis  self-assessment  life_cycle 
july 2012 by jerryking
Ten Laws Of The Modern World
04.19.05 | Forbes | Rich Karlgaard.

• Gilder's Law: Winner's Waste. The futurist George Gilder wrote about this a few years ago in a Forbes publication. The best business models, he said, waste the era's cheapest resources in order to conserve the era's most expensive resources. When steam became cheaper than horses, the smartest businesses used steam and spared horses. Today the cheapest resources are computer power and bandwidth. Both are getting cheaper by the year (at the pace of Moore's Law). Google (nasdaq: GOOG - news - people ) is a successful business because it wastes computer power--it has some 120,000 servers powering its search engine--while it conserves its dearest resource, people. Google has fewer than 3,500 employees, yet it generates $5 billion in (current run rate) sales.

• Ricardo's Law. The more transparent an economy becomes, the more David Ricardo's 19th-century law of comparative advantage rules the day. Then came the commercial Internet, the greatest window into comparative advantage ever invented. Which means if your firm's price-value proposition is lousy, too bad. The world knows.

• Wriston's Law. This is named after the late Walter Wriston, a giant of banking and finance. In his 1992 book, The Twilight of Sovereignty, Wriston predicted the rise of electronic networks and their chief effect. He said capital (meaning both money and ideas), when freed to travel at the speed of light, "will go where it is wanted, stay where it is well-treated...." By applying Wriston's Law of capital and talent flow, you can predict the fortunes of countries and companies.

• The Laffer Curve. In the 1970s the young economist Arthur Laffer proposed a wild idea. Cut taxes at the margin, on income and capital, and you'll get more tax revenue, not less. Laffer reasoned that lower taxes would beckon risk capital out of hiding. Businesses and people would become more productive. The pie would grow. Application of the Laffer Curve is why the United States boomed in the 1980s and 1990s, why India is rocking now and why eastern Europe will outperform western Europe.

• Drucker's Law. Odd as it seems, you will achieve the greatest results in business and career if you drop the word "achievement" from your vocabulary. Replace it with "contribution," says the great management guru Peter Drucker. Contribution puts the focus where it should be--on your customers, employees and shareholders.

• Ogilvy's Law. David Ogilvy gets my vote as the greatest advertising mind of the 20th century. The founder of Ogilvy & Mather--now part of WPP (nasdaq: WPPGY - news - people )--left a rich legacy of ideas in his books, my favorite being Ogilvy on Advertising. Ogilvy wrote that whenever someone was appointed to head an office of O&M, he would give the manager a Russian nesting doll. These dolls open in the middle to reveal a smaller doll, which opens in the middle to reveal a yet smaller doll...and so on. Inside the smallest doll would be a note from Ogilvy. It read: "If each of us hires people who are smaller than we are, we shall become a company of dwarfs. But if each of us hires people who are bigger than we are, we shall become a company of giants." Ogilvy knew in the 1950s that people make or break businesses. It was true then; it's truer today.
Rich_Karlgaard  matryoshka_dolls  Moore's_Law  Metcalfe's_Law  Peter_Drucker  Ogilvy_&_Mather  Gilder's_Law  hiring  talent  advertising_agencies  transparency  value_propositions  capital_flows  talent_flows  David_Ogilvy  inexpensive  waste  abundance  scarcity  constraints  George_Gilder 
june 2012 by jerryking
Second acts
Second acts
Anonymous. Harvard Business Review80. 12 (Dec 2002): 10.
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Knowledge workers outlive organizations, and they are mobile. Management consultant Peter Drucker says the need to manage oneself is therefore creating a revolution in human affairs. A recently completed study of dozens of men and women - managers and other professionals in their 30s, 40s, and 50s - who attempted to change careers in midstream found that some failed and some succeeded. The study concluded that the best way to escape from an unsatisfying career was to stop thinking and start doing. Professionals have to work their way into a new way of working. Managing career transitions is not only important for individuals, it is crucial for companies as well.
Second_Acts  HBR  knowledge_workers  ProQuest  Peter_Drucker  execution  transitions  Managing_Your_Career 
may 2012 by jerryking
A Tribute to Peter Drucker
November 15, 2005 | WSJ | By STEVE FORBES.
Peter_Drucker  tributes 
may 2012 by jerryking
Be Data Literate -- Know What to Know - WSJ.com
November 15, 2005 | WSJ |By PETER F. DRUCKER. (This article originally appeared in The Wall Street Journal on Dec. 3, 1992).

Few executives yet know how to ask: What information do I need to do my job? When do I need it? In what form? And from whom should I be getting it? Fewer still ask: What new tasks can I tackle now that I get all these data? Which old tasks should I abandon? Which tasks should I do differently? Practically no one asks: What information do I owe? To whom? When? In what form?...A "database," no matter how copious, is not information. It is information's ore. For raw material to become information, it must be organized for a task, directed toward specific performance, applied to a decision. Raw material cannot do that itself. Nor can information specialists. They can cajole their customers, the data users. They can advise, demonstrate, teach. But they can no more manage data for users than a personnel department can take over the management of the people who work with an executive.

Information specialists are toolmakers. The data users, whether executive or professional, have to decide what information to use, what to use it for and how to use it. They have to make themselves information-literate. This is the first challenge facing information users now that executives have become computer-literate.

But the organization also has to become information-literate. It also needs to learn to ask: What information do we need in this company? When do we need it? In what form? And where do we get it?
CFOs  CIOs  critical_thinking  data  databases  data_driven  decision_making  digital_savvy  incisiveness  information-literate  information-savvy  insights  interpretative  managerial_preferences  metacognition  organizing_data  Peter_Drucker  questions 
may 2012 by jerryking
How to Save the Family Business - WSJ.com
This article originally appeared in The Wall Street Journal on Aug. 19, 1994 | WSJ | By PETER F. DRUCKER
family-owned_businesses  Peter_Drucker  howto  family_business 
may 2012 by jerryking
Sell the Mailroom - WSJ.com
November 15, 2005 | WSJ | By PETER F. DRUCKER.

Peter F. Drucker died on Friday. The following article ran in The Wall Street Journal on July 25, 1989.

"The people running in-house support services are also unlikely to do the hard, innovative and often costly work that is required to make service work productive. Systematic innovation in service work is as desperately needed as it was in machine in the 50 years between Frederick Winslow Taylor in the 1870s and Henry Ford in the 1920s. Each task, each job, has to be analyzed and then reconfigured. Practically every tool has to be re-designed. . . .

The most important reason for unbundling the organization, however, is one that economists and engineers are likely to dismiss as "intangible": The productivity of support work is not likely to go up until it is possible to be promoted into senior management for doing a good job at it. And that will happen in support work only when such work is done by separate, free-standing enterprises. Until then, ambitious and able people will not go into support work; and if they find themselves in it, will soon get out of it."
back-office  in-house  Outsourcing  Peter_Drucker  process_innovation  productivity  profit_centers  unbundling 
may 2012 by jerryking
Managing Oneself
January 2005 | HBR | Peter Drucker.

We live in an age of unprecedented opportunity: If you’ve got ambition and smarts, you can rise to the top of your chosen profession, regardless of where you started out.

But with opportunity comes responsibility. Companies today aren’t managing their employees’ careers; knowledge workers must, effectively, be their own chief executive officers. It’s up to you to carve out your place, to know when to change course, and to keep yourself engaged and productive during a work life that may span some 50 years. To do those things well, you’ll need to cultivate a deep understanding of yourself—not only what your strengths and weaknesses are but also how you learn, how you work with others, what your values are, and where you can make the greatest contribution. Because only when you operate from strengths can you achieve true excellence.
howto  Peter_Drucker  knowledge_workers  Managing_Your_Career  self-analysis  introspection  strengths  weaknesses  self-awareness  It's_up_to_me 
march 2012 by jerryking
How Spider-Man Poisoned Its Own Prospects -
Mar. 11, 2011|BusinessWeek |By Rick Wartzman.

Jason Isaacs

Past performance doesn't necessarily guarantee future accomplishment, especially in a new job. "There is no reliable way to test or predict whether a person
successful in one area can make a successful transition to a different
environment," Drucker wrote. "This can be learned only by experience."
...One day, the senior partner called Drucker in. "I understand you did
very good securities analysis," the boss said. "But if we had wanted you
to do securities analysis work, we would have left you where you were.
You are now the executive secretary to the partners, yet you continue to
do securities analysis. What should you be doing now, to be effective
in your new job?" People stumble moving up the ladder because they
continue in their new assignment what made them successful in the old
assignment and what earned them the promotion...they turn
incompetent..because they are doing the wrong things."
first90days  Peter_Drucker  theatre  lessons_learned  directors  effectiveness  career  transitions  career_paths  new_graduates  movingonup  advice  Jason_Isaacs  past_performance  career_ending_moves 
march 2011 by jerryking
"The Best Advice I Ever Got" - March 21, 2005
March 21, 2005 | Fortune Magazine | By INTERVIEWERS Julia Boorstin.

Brian Grazer
"My whole career has been built on one piece of advice that came from two people: [MCA founder] Jules Stein and [former MCA chairman] Lew Wasserman. In 1975 I was a law clerk at Warner Bros. I'd spent about a year trying to get a meeting with these two men. Finally they let me in to see them. They both said, separately, 'In order for you to be in the entertainment business, you have to have leverage. Since you have none--no money, no pedigree, no valuable relationships--you must have creative leverage. That exists only in your mind. So you need to write--put what's in your mind on paper. Then you'll own a piece of paper. That's leverage.'

"With that advice, I wrote the story that became Splash, which was a fantasy that I had about meeting a mermaid. For years, I sent registered letters to myself--movie concepts and other ideas--so that I had my ideas officially on paper. I have about 1,000 letters in a vault. To this day, I feel that my real power is only that--ideas and the confidence to write them down."
advice  career  inspiration  entrepreneur  Managing_Your_Career  Clayton_Christensen  humility  MBAs  Siemens  Salesforce  Mickey_Drexler  JetBlue  Peter_Drucker  Jim_Collins  Rick_Warren  leverage  Xerox  Andy_Grove  conventional_wisdom  Richard_Parsons  negotiations  Jack_Welch  Vivek_Paul  thinking  Starbucks  Warren_Bennis  Richard_Branson  Warren_Buffett  Brian_Grazer  creating_valuable_content  Lew_Wasserman 
december 2010 by jerryking
Better communication crucial -- but tough
Nov 5, 2004 |The Globe & Mail pg. C.3 | Rick Spence.
Peter Drucker, the ageless management guru, once declared that 60 % of
all management problems result from faulty communication...Mr. Drucker's
message is clear: Effective communication is crucial to business -- and
it's harder than it looks. Spence has developed some rules of thumb to
help people become better communicators. (1) Identify your target
audience; (2) Introduce yourself, and your message, properly; (3) Be
yourself (4) Use the word 'you'; (5) Tell stories; (6) Be creative;
(7) Encourage feedback.
ProQuest  Rick_Spence  Communicating_&_Connecting  feedback  Peter_Drucker  rules_of_the_game  storytelling  authenticity 
october 2010 by jerryking
The End of Management - WSJ.com
AUGUST 21, 2010 | Wall Street Journal by Alan Murray.
Corporate bureaucracy is becoming obsolete. Why managers should act like
venture capitalists.
Alan_Murray  Clayton_Christensen  Peter_Drucker  21st._century  Coase's_Law  bureaucracies 
august 2010 by jerryking
Educating Professionals
Jan-Feb 2009| Harvard Magazine | focus on training leaders:
through their development of judgment in establishing priorities; their
entrepreneurial vision in finding opportunities to solve problems; their
skill in communicating; their values and integrity; and their
commitment to action. .... Leaders are accountable for more than
themselves; they must be both willing and able to accept that
responsibility.”

In the end, Faust said, education throughout the University must be
informed by the recognition that “[L]eadership is a means; it is not an
end in itself.…Leaders exist to serve followers, and leaders’ successes
must be measured not simply by their power to move others, but by the
directions in which they take those who follow them.”
education  MBAs  HBS  Drew_Gilpin_Faust  leaders  leadership  leadership_development  Peter_Drucker  professional_education  deanships  serving_others 
july 2010 by jerryking
An Innovator in Allston
Jul-Aug 2010 | Harvard Magazine | Nitin Nohria named dean of
Harvard Business School. He posed the core question for HBS this way:
“Are we educating people who have the competence and character to
exercise leadership in business?”...2 autumns ago, speaking at HBS’s
centennial global business summit (see “Educating Professionals,”
January-February 2009, page 58), President Faust invoked Peter Drucker’s
parable of the stonecutters: one simply making a living, a second
trying to be the country’s best stonecutter, and the third aspiring to
build a cathedral. The vision of the second, a pure individualist, Faust
described as “incomplete” and “a kind of blindness.” A commitment to
educating leaders for the world, she maintained, compelled HBS to look
to “purposes beyond one’s self….Leaders exist to serve followers,” she
continued, “and leaders’ success must be measured not simply by their
power to move others, but by the directions in which they take those who
follow them.”
deanships  HBS  leadership  Drew_Gilpin_Faust  Peter_Drucker  Nitin_Nohria  leaders  serving_others  selflessness 
july 2010 by jerryking
Op-Ed Columnist - The Humble Hound - NYTimes.com
April 8, 2010 | NYT | By DAVID BROOKS. Research suggests that
extremely self-confident leaders--the boardroom lion model of
leadership--can also be risky. Charismatic C.E.O.’s often produce
volatile company performances--swinging for the home run and sometimes
end up striking out. They make more daring acquisitions, shift into new
fields and abruptly change strategies. Jim Collins, author of “Good to
Great” and “How the Mighty Fall,” celebrates a different sort of leader.
Reliably successful leaders who combine “extreme personal humility with
intense professional will”--a humble hound model of leadership.
Characteristics: focuses on metacognition — thinking about thinking —
and building external scaffolding devices to compensate for weaknesses;
spends more time seeing than analyzing; construct thinking teams; avoids
the seduction (the belief) that one magic move will change everything;
the faith in perpetual restructuring; the tendency to replace questions
with statements at meetings.
David_Brooks  Peter_Drucker  leadership  single_action_bias  CEOs  self-confidence  leaders  charisma  thinking  humility  Jim_Collins  cognitive_skills  self-awareness  metacognition  proclivities  weaknesses  wishful_thinking  willpower 
april 2010 by jerryking
Seven questions that managers should ask
March 29, 2010 | The Globe and Mail | by Harvey Schachter.

Do you miss opportunities that others spot?

Despite massive investments in information technology and sophisticated data systems, many companies miss market shifts that rivals sense and exploit. To continually identify gaps in the market, you need real-time data, the ability to share it in your company, and the wisdom to supplement that data with direct observations in the field. He notes that Spanish retailer Zara, known for its capability to respond speedily to market shifts, has its designers, marketing managers and buyers work side-by-side in an open office setting that stimulates sharing and discussion.

Are your hydraulics broken?

Organizational hydraulics, Prof. Sull explains, are the mechanisms that senior executives use to translate corporate objectives into aligned actions by individuals across the organization. But in many companies, top executives deluge staff members with multiple, often conflicting, priorities, and everything plugs up. Alex Behring, chief executive officer of Garantia Investment Bank in Brazil in the 1990s, set out to repair the deteriorated organizational hydraulics in a railway bought from the government through such measures as capping the number of corporate priorities at five per year and requiring every employee to meet and negotiate with his or her boss both team and individual priorities for the year, again limited to five.

Do you reward mediocrity and call it teamwork?

In many organizations, he says, executives socialize bonuses in the name of teamwork, believing that differential payouts can stifle co-operation and long-term thinking. Variable pay represents a small portion of overall compensation, with the range of bonuses narrow. He argues instead for rewarding individuals who do what they say they will with outsized bonuses.

Are your core values a joke?

The most agile organization that Prof. Sull studied shared a core set of values: strong achievement ethic; personal responsibility by all employees for results; creativity to challenge the status quo; and integrity, to offset the temptation to cut corners when taking on ambitious goals. "Rather than print posters listing the values that then languish on conference room walls, executives should breathe life into the corporate culture by hiring and promoting individuals on the basis of the adherence to values," he says, noting that Reckitt Benckiser, a consumer goods company, created a pre-screening tool that allows potential employees to assess their fit with the organization.

Are you talking about the wrong things?

Managers spend about three-quarters of their time in discussions, and need to be adept at four different types of conversations that facilitate execution: making sense of volatile situations; deciding what to do, not do, or stop doing [Sounds a lot like Peter Drucker] ; soliciting and monitoring commitments by others to deliver; and making corrections in mid-course. Beware of executives who excel at only one type of discussion, and struggle with or avoid the others.

Have your Vikings become farmers?

Effective executives are like Nordic Vikings, who attacked when they saw an unprotected spot, and retreated when they realized they couldn't win. Do some of your executives have that same instinct, or are they all like farmers, more interested in protecting and tilling their current fields?

Do you rely on heroic leadership?

The economic crisis forced many executives into firefighting mode but, over the long haul, you need leaders who can build up your organization's execution strength in a disciplined way. "Senior executives who dash from crisis to crisis are a sign of organizational weakness, not leadership strength," Prof. Sull warns.
Harvey_Schachter  IT  Donald_Sull  observations  questions  wisdom  conversations  sense-making  real-time  data  mediocrity  overlooked_opportunities  Peter_Drucker  missed_opportunities  long-haul  primary_field_research  core_values  Zara 
march 2010 by jerryking
Corner Office - Guy Kawasaki - I Want 5 Sentences, Not ‘War and Peace’ - Question - NYTimes.com
March 19, 2010 | New York Times | This interview of Guy
Kawasaki, a co-founder of Alltop, a news aggregation site, and managing
director of Garage Technology Ventures, was conducted, edited and
condensed by Adam Bryant.

Jobs for college graduates should make them gain knowledge in at least
one of these three areas: how to make something, how to sell something
or how to support something.
Guy_Kawasaki  Peter_Drucker  advice  howto  life_skills  education  new_graduates  college-educated 
march 2010 by jerryking
Why a Product’s Job Matters
April 18, 2007 | - The Informed Reader - WSJ | by Robin
Moroney. A basic principle of business–knowing what consumers want from
a particular product–is often ignored by corporations. Many businesses
focus on qualities that are largely irrelevant to the consumers’ buying
decisions, such as product prices, or data on customer age, gender and
marital status. Some business-to-business companies slice their markets
by industry; others by size of business. The problem with such
segmentation schemes is that they are static. Customers’ buying
behaviors change far more often than their demographics, psychographics
or attitudes. This leads to situations in which, in the words of the
late business guru Peter Drucker, “the customer rarely buys what the
business thinks it sells him.”
Peter_Drucker  Clayton_Christensen  Scott_Anthony  segmentation  marketing  market_segmentation  static  dynamic  purchase_decisions  hiring-a-product-to-do-a-specific-job  B2B  demographics  psychographics  attitudes  demographic_information  relevance  consumer_behavior  behavioral_change  irrelevance 
january 2010 by jerryking
The American CEO
January 2, 2005 | Wall Street Journal | by PETER F. DRUCKER
CEOs  executive_management  Peter_Drucker  leadership 
december 2009 by jerryking
The Uber Mentor, Mentors Article
Sept. 1, 2002 | Inc. Article | By Elaine Appleton Grant.
If you needed life-changing advice and could make only one phone call,
who would be on the other end? For some, the answer is Peter Drucker.
He listens carefully and asks a lot of questions.
He brings a wealth of knowledge to bear in conversations with his
advisees. He's a Renaissance man who is incredibly well-read, draws upon
an enormous breadth of experience, and has an astonishing memory. He
both defines the landscape and identifies what Buford calls "the void"
in that landscape -- what is needed now. Finally, he works only with
those people who take his counsel seriously and act on it.

He encourages people and helps them believe in themselves. A Drucker
truism: a good mentor or manager builds on people's strengths and helps
them make their weaknesses irrelevant.
advice  competitive_landscape  life-changing  mentoring  opportunities  Peter_Drucker  questions  Renaissance_man  voids  weaknesses 
december 2009 by jerryking
Questioning Authority
May/June 2007 | The Conference Board Review | By Elizabeth
Edersheim who describes being Peter Drucker’s final collaborator. "What
Peter Drucker was better at than any person I've ever read or met was
his ability to translate trends into social implications. That was his
unique skill, his unique intellect. His passion was making organizations
work."
Peter_Drucker  profile  trends  pattern_recognition 
october 2009 by jerryking
"Born to see; meant to look" - Forbes.com
"Born to see; meant to look"
03.10.97

Say this for Peter Drucker: He has always known his own mind. He calls this kind of self-knowledge "intellectual integrity." It is one of his favorite phrases (see story). But of course for him the term also has a moral dimension.
biographies  intellectual_integrity  Peter_Drucker  self-awareness  self-knowledge 
october 2009 by jerryking
Seeing things as they really are
March 10, 1997 | Forbes Magazine | Anonymous. Intellectual
integrity? Describes.... "...the ability to see the world as it is, not
as you want it to be," Drucker elucidates. How does one display that
kind of integrity? "By asking, especially when taking on office: What is
the foremost need of the institution—and therefore my first task and
duty?"..."Drucker purified my mind. He would tell me after each
session—don't tell me you had a wonderful meeting with me. Tell me what
you're going to do on Monday that's different."
clarity  integrity  intellectual_integrity  Peter_Drucker  purpose 
october 2009 by jerryking
For Jim Collins, No Question Is Too Big - NYTimes.com
By ADAM BRYANT
Published: May 23, 2009
Now the stages of decline that he maps out in the book — hubris born of
success; undisciplined pursuit of more; denial of risk and peril;
grasping for salvation with a quick, big solution; and capitulation to
irrelevance or death — offer a kind of instant autopsy for an economy on
the stretcher. Jim Collins method: approach every aspect of life with
purpose and intensity. Mr. Collins also is quite practiced at saying
“no.”
capitulation  decline  failure  gurus  intensity  Jim_Collins  management_consulting  mybestlife  Peter_Drucker  purpose  time-management  say_"no" 
may 2009 by jerryking
An American Sage - WSJ.com
NOVEMBER 14, 2005 | The Wall Street Journal | Editorial

The following is a selection from the writings for The Wall Street
Journal of Peter F. Drucker, who died on Friday night at the age of 95.

not many executives are information-literate. They know how to get data.
But most still have to learn how to use data.

Few executives yet know how to ask: What information do I need to do my
job? When do I need it? In what form? And from whom should I be getting
it? Fewer still ask: What new tasks can I tackle now that I get all
these data? Which old tasks should I abandon? Which tasks should I do
differently? Practically no one asks: What information do I owe? To
whom? When? In what form?
Peter_Drucker  questions  information-literate  information-savvy  management_consulting  strategic_thinking  executive_management 
may 2009 by jerryking

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