Wednesday, December 28, 2011

More Peter Drucker quotes...

Peter F. Drucker (1909-2005)
“Peter taught management not as an end in itself but as a means to create organizations for building and supporting a civil society.” Doris Drucker

The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn't being said.

There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.

We now accept the fact that learning is a lifelong process of keeping abreast of change.

And the most pressing task is to teach people how to learn.

Innovation is the specific instrument of entrepreneurship - the act that endows
resources with a new capacity to create wealth.

"Management" means, in the last analysis, the substitution of thought for brawn and muscle, of knowledge for folklore and superstition, and of cooperation for force. . .

Few people- and probably no one outside the executive suite – sees much reason for these very large executive compensations. There is little correlation between them and company performance.

To be effective, every knowledge worker, and especially every executive, therefore needs to dispose of time in fairly large chunks. To have small dribs and drabs of time at his disposal will not be sufficient even if the total is an impressive number of hours.

A manager is responsible for the application and performance of knowledge.

Accept the fact that we have to treat almost anybody as a volunteer.

Business, that's easily defined - it's other people's money.

Checking the results of a decision against its expectations shows executives what their strengths are, where they need to improve, and where they lack knowledge or information.

Company cultures are like country cultures. Never try to change one. Try, instead, to work with what you've got.

Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results not attributes.

Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.

Executives owe it to the organization and to their fellow workers not to tolerate nonperforming individuals in important jobs.

Few companies that installed computers to reduce the employment of clerks have realized their expectations... They now need more, and more expensive clerks even though they call them 'operators' or 'programmers.'

Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action.

Innovation is the specific instrument of entrepreneurship. The act that endows resources with a new capacity to create wealth.

Knowledge has to be improved, challenged, and increased constantly, or it vanishes.

Making good decisions is a crucial skill at every level.

Management by objective works - if you know the objectives. Ninety percent of the time you don't.

Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.

Most discussions of decision making assume that only senior executives make decisions or that only senior executives' decisions matter. This is a dangerous mistake.

Most of what we call management consists of making it difficult for people to get their work done.

My greatest strength as a consultant is to be ignorant and ask a few questions.
Never mind your happiness; do your duty.

No institution can possibly survive if it needs geniuses or supermen to manage it. It must be organized in such a way as to be able to get along under a leadership composed of average human beings.

People who don't take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year. People who do take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year.

Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work.

Rank does not confer privilege or give power. It imposes responsibility.

So much of what we call management consists in making it difficult for people to work.

Suppliers and especially manufacturers have market power because they have information about a product or a service that the customer does not and cannot have, and does not need if he can trust the brand. This explains the profitability of brands.

Teaching is the only major occupation of man for which we have not yet developed tools that make an average person capable of competence and performance. In teaching we rely on the "naturals," the ones who somehow know how to teach.

The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.

The best way to predict the future is to create it.

The computer is a moron.

The entrepreneur always searches for change, responds to it, and exploits it as an opportunity.

The most efficient way to produce anything is to bring together under one management as many as possible of the activities needed to turn out the product.

The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn't said.

The new information technology... Internet and e-mail... have practically eliminated the physical costs of communications.

The only thing we know about the future is that it will be different.

The productivity of work is not the responsibility of the worker but of the manager.

The purpose of a business is to create a customer.

There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.

Time is the scarcest resource and unless it is managed nothing else can be managed.

Today knowledge has power. It controls access to opportunity and advancement.

Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window.

Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes... but no plans.

We can say with certainty - or 90% probability - that the new industries that are about to be born will have nothing to do with information.

We now accept the fact that learning is a lifelong process of keeping abreast of change. And the most pressing task is to teach people how to learn.

When a subject becomes totally obsolete we make it a required course.

  • "We know now that the source of wealth is something specifically human: knowledge. If we apply knowledge to tasks we already know how to do, we call it 'productivity'. If we apply knowledge to tasks that are new and different we call it 'innovation'." Only knowledge allows us to achieve these two goals.
  • “The organizations of the society of organizations are special-purpose organs. Each is good at only one task; and this specialization alone gives them their capacity to perform.”
  • “Organizations can only do damage to themselves and to society if they tackle tasks that are beyond their specialized competence, their specialized values, their specialized functions. The American hospital did a good deal of harm to itself and little good to the community when it attempted to take on the inner city’s social ills by founding “inner-city clinics.” The American school has failed miserably to produce racial integration. In both cases, the causes are undoubtedly good; they cry out for action. But the action needed or at least the action chosen by these various organizations was beyond such organizations’ focus and function, and totally beyond their competence.”
  • And yet who else is there to take care of society, its problems and its ills? These organizations collectively are society…Power must always be balanced by responsibility; otherwise it becomes tyranny. And organizations do have power.”
  • “Leaders in every single institution and in every single sector … have two responsibilities. They are responsible and accountable for the performance of their institutions, and that requires them and their institutions to be concentrated, focused, limited. They are responsible also, however, for the community as a whole.” Source: Leader to Leader Relevance: The community is the responsibility of every institutional leader. How that translates into actions and decisions is what social responsibility is all about.
  • “Kierkegaard’s question, how is human existence possible?, has a simple answer: human existence is possible only in tension between man’s simultaneous life as an individual in the spirit and as a citizen in society.”
  • “Primum non nocere – first, do no harm – is the first responsibility of a professional, as spelled out in the Hippocratic oath. “As the physicians found out long ago, this apparently modest requirement is far from easy. It requires a far-reaching understanding of the impact of our actions on another person or on a society, and a willingness to think through our effect on others.”
  • “The first responsibility of business is to make enough profit to cover the costs for the future. If this social responsibility is not met, no other social responsibility can be met.”
  • “In most discussions of the social responsibility of business it is assumed that making a profit is fundamentally incompatible with social responsibility or is at least irrelevant to it.”
  • “Only if business learns how to convert the major social challenges facing developed societies today into novel and profitable business opportunities can we hope to surmount these challenges in the future.”
  • “The propoer social responsibility of business is to tame the dragon–that is, to turn a social problem into economic opportunity and economic benefit, into productive capacity, into human competence, into ell-paid jobs, and into wealth.”
  • It is the increasingly important responsibility (of management) to create the capital that alone can finance tomorrow’s jobs. In a modern economy the main source of capital formation is business profits.
  • “Social responsibility objectives need to be built into the strategy of a business, rather than merely be statements of good intentions.”
  • “In the United States . . . the class of employees that has been growing most rapidly in numbers and proportion is that of skilled and trained people.”
  • “Productive work in today's society and economy is work that applies vision, knowledge and concepts -- work that is based on the mind rather than the hand.”
  • “Even the small business today consists increasingly of people who apply knowledge rather than manual skill and muscle to work.”
  • “Every knowledge worker in modern organization is an "executive" if, by virtue of his position or knowledge, he is responsible for a contribution that materially affects the capacity of the organization to perform and to obtain results.”
  • “Finally, these new industries differ from the traditional 'modern' industry in that they will employ predominantly knowledge workers rather than manual workers.”
  • “. . . the center of gravity of the work force is shifting from the manual worker to the knowledge worker.” 
  • “. . . the center of gravity among 'employees' has sharply shifted to the educated, employed, middle class, that is, to people who see themselves as 'technical' and increasingly as 'professional'.”
  • “To make knowledge work fully productive requires many things [Frederick Winslow] Taylor did not concern himself with. It requires objectives and goals. It requires priorities and measurements. It requires systematic abandonment of the tasks that no longer produce and of the services that are no longer needed. It also requires organization, largely along the lines of the 'matrix organization' which Taylor reached for in his 'functional foremanship.' But making knowledge work productive also requires 'task study' and 'task management.' It requires the analysis of the work itself. It requires understanding of the steps needed, their sequence and their integration into an organized process. It requires systematic provision of the information needed and of the tool needed. All of these are concepts of 'scientific management.' It does not require 'creativity.' It requires the hard, systematic, analytical and synthesizing work which Taylor developed to deal with shoveling sand, lifting pig iron, running paper machines, or laying brick.”
  • “In all developed countries, knowledge workers have already become the center of gravity of the labor force, even in numbers.”
  • “The more knowledge-based an institution becomes, the more it depends on the willingness of individuals to take responsibility for contribution to the whole, for understanding the objectives, the values, the performance of the whole, and for making themselves understood by the other professionals, the other knowledge people in the organization.”
  • “The productivity of the newly dominant groups in the work force, knowledge workers and service workers, will be the biggest and toughest challenge facing managers in the developed countries for decades to come. And serious work on this daunting task has only begun.”
  • “Instead of capitalists and proletarians, the classes of the post-capitalist society are knowledge workers and service workers.”
  • “This society in which knowledge workers dominate is in danger of a new 'class conflict'; the conflict between the large minority of knowledge workers and the majority of people who will make their living through traditional ways, either by manual work, whether skilled or unskilled, or by services work, whether skilled or unskilled.”
  • “The most valuable assets of a 20th-century company were its production equipment. The most valuable asset of a 21st-century institution, whether business or nonbusiness, will be its knowledge workers and their productivity.”

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