- Paperback: 576 pages
- Publisher: Routledge; New Ed edition (29 April 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0750643897
- ISBN-13: 978-0750643894
- Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 3.3 x 23.4 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 120,905 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- See Complete Table of Contents
Management Tasks, Responsibilities Practices (Drucker Series) Paperback – 29 Apr 1999
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'...if I were allowed only one book on management to take with me on my desert island, I would certainly take this one.' The Director
'..Drucker brings to bear a nimble pen, an agile mind and a rare dose of common sense.' The Daily Telegraph
About the Author
Born in Vienna in 1909, Peter F. Drucker was educated in Austria and England. From 1929 he was a newspaper correspondent abroad and an economist for an international bank in London. Since 1937 he has been in the United States, first as an economist for a group of British banks and insurance companies, and later as a management consultant to several of the country's largest companies, as well as leading companies abroad. Drucker has since had a distinguished career as a teacher, first as Professor of Politics and Philosophy at Bennington College, then for more than twenty years as Professor of Management at the Graduate Business School of New York University. Since 1971 he has been Clarke Professor of Social Science at Claremont Graduate School in California. In addition to his management books, Peter Drucker is also renowned for his prophetic books analysing politics, economics and society. These books span fifty years of modern history beginning with The End of Economic Man (1939) and including The Practice of Management; Innovation and Entrepreneurship; Managing in the Next Society; Management Challenges in the 21st Century; The Effective Executive and The Essential Drucker.
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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.
Some of what he said reminded me of The E-Myth Revisited, but this book took the topic more seriously. Drucker wasn't messing around here or trying to be philosophical about things. This book was originally published in 1985 when I was only 1 year old, and it seems to me that the things he talked about then are still highly relevant today. Also, since the book was written, the types of things he predicted would happen largely DID happen (and are, still,) which only makes Drucker's ideas even more credible.
Great great book. A must-read for the budding entrepreneur.
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!
Drucker has put together a story that catches your imagination and encourages you to go and seek opportunities. As famous Hollywood director David Lynch ones put: "Creativity is out there and like an aquarium full of fish... you just have to catch one". And that's what this book is about.
Apart from being a great read, the book encourages action and makes you pursue opportunities. It has helped me in building and growing my company. I think that stands for a good testimonial.