Today’s Book: In Search of Excellence: Lessons from America’s Best-Run Companies – by Thomas J. Peters and Robert H. Waterman, Jr.
Another old Business Management Classic! Now, why would you care to read an old classic help? Because the game is in THE BASICS! We delve right in with an excerpt:
Innovative companies not only are unusually good at producing commercially viable new widgets; innovative companies are especially adroit at continually responding to change of any sort in their environments.
As the authors traversed “America’s Best-Run Companies”, they chose to call their project – “Continuously Innovating Big Companies” – studying about 75 companies.
What was the result? In their own words:
The excellent companies were, above all, brilliant on basics. Tools did not substitute for thinking. Intellect didn’t overpower wisdom. Analysis didn’t impede action. Rather, these companies worked hard to keep things simple in a complex world. They persisted. They insisted on top quality. They fawned on their customers. They listened to their employees and treated them like adults. They allowed their innovative product and service “champions” long tethers. They allowed some chaos in return for quick action and regular experimentation.
There you go! Entire book in a nutshell on page 13! What would remaining 300+ pages like? Go figure!
Autonomy is a product of discipline. The discipline (a few shared values) provides the framework. It gives people confidence (to experiment, for instance) stemming from stable expectations about what really counts.
“To be narrowly rational is often to be negative.”
The rationalist approach does not celebrate informality.
Happy reading, and may you business be soon counted as World’s Best Run Companies!