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Quality is the essence of the output. In judging the performance of a teacher, one does not ask how many students there can be in his or her class. Instead, one asks how many students learn anything -- and that is a quality question. In appraising the performance of a medical laboratory, the question of how many tests it can run through its machines is quite secondary to the question of how many test results are valid and reliable. This is true even for the work of the file clerk. Productivity of knowledge work therefore has to aim first at obtaining quality -- and not minimum quality but optimum if not maximum quality. Only then can one ask: "What is the volume, the quantity of work?" This not only means that we approach the task of making more productive the knowledge worker from the quality of the work rather than the quantity, it also means that we will have to learn to define quality.
Highly Regarded Employees
Drucker believed that employees are assets and not liabilities. Insomuch, they deserved a great deal of respect (Hunt 2010). Central to this philosophy is the view that people are an organization's most valuable resource, and that a manager's job is both to prepare people to perform and give them freedom to do so (Byrne & Gerdes 2005). Participation and teamwork: recognize the value and collective genius of people. People have the right and responsibility to contribute their gifts. Treat employees like owners, and grant them stock and allow everyone to be responsible and accountable for the decisions that affect their work. Employee-owners have a right to share in the risk and rewards of the business (Hunt 2010). Encourage people to bring their whole self to work and to contribute their uniqueness to help achieve the company's goals. Value differences and celebrate the richness of diversity.
Leading a 21st Century Organization
Whenever possible, minimize and organize business travel. It is important that management sees people and that management is seen by people maybe once or twice a year. Otherwise, eliminate travel, and encourage others to travel. Use technology -- it is cheaper than traveling. With the use of teleconferencing, a firm is not organized around localities but around clients (Karlgaard 2004).
Develop priorities, but keep them to no more than two. It is a challenge to do three things at the same time and to do them well. Completing one task at a time or two tasks at a time is acceptable, without placing unnecessary burdens. If one feels the need to multi-task, tackling two tasks works better for most. Most people need the change of pace. However, when the two tasks are completed, or they have reached the point where it is futile effort, select two more tasks. Being focused helps one to become an effective leader with a purpose. Insomuch, the world needs leaders with a purpose that transcends corporate selfishness (Hunt 2010).
Management by Objectives (MBO)
In 1954, Drucker wrote the seminal the Practice of Management, in which he popularized the idea of Management by Objectives (MBO). His thesis stated that, oftentimes, managers become so focused on what they are doing that they forget why they are doing it, becoming sidetracked. Drucker proposed "management by objective" as a way to combat this "activity trap. " With MBO, employees participate in setting goals, and they are then evaluated on how they fulfill those goals. Managers can focus on the "what" rather than the "how." Management by objective works -- if objectives are known.
Creative Abandonment. While focusing on the MBOs, management must assess the quality of the objectives and whether further attention is warranted. Peter Drucker tells leaders that if the purpose of their organization is no longer connecting with the people, then it is time to let go and change. A critical question for leaders is (Karlgaard 2004), "When do you stop pouring resources into things that have achieved their purpose?" Drucker calls this process "planned or creative abandonment." Organizational environments are dynamic and need to interact with the real world in real time. If decisions do not have "cash value" on the street, it is time to abandon out-of-date policies, procedures, or requirements.
Some of Drucker's key management and leadership principles are still embraced today. He did not achieve his legacy by being involved in complex analysis of data but by being open, curious, imaginative, and creatively synthesizing. In his brilliant synthesis, Drucker has provided more insights to managers and management researchers than what one could achieve by simple analysis. While Drucker's contributions to the study and practice of management have been enduring, varied, and profound, his book the Practice of Management, which appeared in 1954, stands out as a seminal and timeless source of influence on the field. Many credit this book with making management a legitimate held of intellectual inquiry, thoughtful analysis and. above all, practice. His advice to managers of knowledge workers was that they create a context where employees can take responsibility for their work. Hence, the manager's role is to provide guidance where required without being intrusive.
Byrne, John a., and Gerdes, Lindsey. "The Man Who Invented Management: Why Peter Drucker's ideas still matter." Bloomberg Businessweek (2005). Web. 22 Apr 2012.
Drucker, Peter. (1954). The Practice of Management, New York: Harper & Row.
Drucker, Peter. (1969). The Age of Discontinuity, New York: Harper & Row.
Drucker, Peter, and Shaker a. Zahra. "An Interview with Peter Drucker." The Academy of Management Executive (1993-2005) 17.3 (2003): 9-12. JSTOR Arts & Sciences VI. Web. 22 Apr. 2012.
Hunt, Michele. "Peter Drucker: A Generous Spirit."…[continue]
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