Robert Heller, management writer, editor, best-selling author and Leadership & Management Review’s founder, died at the age of 80 in August 2012 after a long illness.
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Thinkers commonly make the gross error of confusing what they see with what they want to see; the great and good thinker only forecasts futures after deep analysis of the most profound source of true knowledge - the present.
Managers often need reminding that the bottom line may be the end-all of business activity, but that the top line literally comes first.
The underlying thought of the KISS principle (Keep It Simple Stupid) is that, because managers are none too bright, the greater the complexity, the more likely they are to make a mess of their management.
Do you feel that your work as a manager is getting more and more complicated? You are almost certainly right.
Few managers today can have escaped exposure to the management industry. They have very likely been taught some aspect of management, been exposed to some new (or once new) management idea, worked alongside expensive management consultants, come across an interesting article in a management journal, even read a whole management book (even if it’s only The One-Minute Manager).
Interesting evidence about predictions is covered in a book by Philip Tetlock entitled Expert Political Judgment: How good is it? The answer is directly relevant to business management, because fortunes are directly affected by political decisions (and indecisions).
‘Mavericks’ are by definition rare beasts in business management or any other organised activity.
What’s the most valuable attribute that a manager can possess and develop?
Why do business idols, both individuals and firms, develop feet of clay? For anybody who believes this cannot happen to their leader, or their organisation, or even to themselves, the best advice is ‘don’t be so sure’.
A millionaire reader once told me that he had built up his eminently successful business by following these dozen points from my 1980 book, The Business of Winning...
How would you like to achieve the financial benefits of a major company shake-up…
The easiest task in management is buying another business – you only need to identify the acquisition target, work out how much you want to pay, and make your offer.
All companies today want to stay or become entrepreneurial.
But what are the attributes of the entrepreneur? The most convincing list by far was assembled by Geoffrey A.Timmons in an article published by the Harvard Business Review in 1979. He found that entrepreneurs required the following nine qualities:
People are the key to organisational success, and also the cause of corporate failure.
Strategy has been having a wonderful run for management's money.
For every business and every manager, there's nearly always a distance between 'where we are' and 'where we want to be'. It's the crucial divide in management, and you won't cross that divide without closing the management gap: that between what needs to be done and actually doing it.
Artifical barriers between leaders and led are only one obstacle to true teamwork.
That giant of customer service, the late Sam Walton, advised other managements to 'break all the rules.'
Teamwork is one of the rallying cries of the new management.
The concept of the all-powerful customer is nothing new; Peter Drucker wrote long ago that 'there is only one valid definition of business purpose - to create a customer'.
Success in management and success in sports have the same roots.
Every senior manager makes a critical decision every day of his or her working life. Mostly, the decision is unconscious, but is no less vital for that. The issue is simply stated with three questions...
How the boss behaves has a profound effect on how other managers perform - and thus on the performance of the entire outfit.
That's a self-evident truth, acknowledged by most people. But few bosses acknowledge the corollary: that inferior performance is partly their fault.