High Output Management
Andrew S. Grove
"The output of a manager is the output of the organizational units under his or her supervision or influence."
PART I - The Breakfast Factory
Chapter 1 - The Basics of Production: Delivering a Breakfast (or a College Graduate, or a Compiler, or a Convicted Criminal...)
Chapter 2 - Managing the Breakfast Factory
- Leading Indicators
- Trend Indicators
- Stagger Charts
PART II - Management is a Team Game
Chapter 3 - Managerial Leverage
A manager's output = The output of his organization + The output of the neighboring organizations under his influence
"Reports are more a medium of self-discipline than a way to communicate information. Writing the report is important; reading it often is not."
- decision making
- being a role model
"Information-gathering is the basis of all other managerial work, which is why I choose to spend so much of my day doing it."
"How you handle your own time is, in my view, the single most important aspect of being a role model and leader."
Leverage - people impacted ratio and impact duration ratio and/or unique expertise
"Delegation without follow-through is abdication."
Manage your calendar as a "production planning tool":
- make an active use of your calendar
- say no to overcapacity
- allow slack in your scheduling
- carry a "raw material inventory" in terms of projects
Supervisory manager - 6-8 subordinates (or half-day-subordinate-equivalents)
Chapter 4 - Meetings - The Medium of Managerial Work
- One-on-ones - mutual teaching and exchange of information - once a week to once every few weeks depending on maturity - one hour minimum - should be regarded as the subordinate's meeting, with its agenda and tone set by him - use a "hold file" (family one-on-ones - especially kids->parents)
- Staff Meetings - all subordinates - decision-making discussion around an agenda with the manager acting as moderator
- Operation Reviews - middle manager organising one of his junior manager's project presentation to their senior manager
Mission-Oriented Meetings - decision-making meeting with a clear agenda from the "chairman" manager, potential opt-out or call-off if not required (vs. attendees' time cost) - 6-7 participants, 8 max - post-meeting minutes, decision made, follow-up actions.
"Peter Drucker said that if people spend more than 25 percent of their time in meetings, it is a sign of malorganization. I would put it another way: the real sign of malorganization is when people spend more than 25% of their time in ad hoc mission-oriented meetings."
Chapter 5 - Decisions, Decisions
Ideal decision-making process:
- free discussion
- clear decision
- full support
Keep decision-making at the lowest competent level.
The Peer-Group Syndrome
Striving for the Output
- What decision needs to be made?
- When does it have to be made?
- Who will decide?
- Who will need to be consulted prior to making the decision?
- Who will ratify or veto the decision?
- Who will need to be informed of the decision?
Chapter 6 - Planning: Today's Actions for Tomorrow's Output
OKRs (MBO - Management by Objectives)
PART III - Team of Teams
Chapter 7 - The Breakfast Factory Goes National
Chapter 8 - Hybrid Organizations
Mission-oriented Teams (decentralised) vs. Functional Teams (centralised)
"Good management rests on a reconciliation of centralization and decentralization." - Alfred Sloan
Grove's Law: "All large organizations with a common business purpose end up in a hybrid organizational form."
Chapter 9 - Dual Reporting
Chapter 10 - Modes of Control
- Free-market forces
- Contractual obligations
- Cultural values
CUA = Complexity, Uncertainty & Ambiguity
Most Appropriate Mode of Control (2x2 matrix):
- self-interest + low CUA = free-market forces
- group interest + low CUA = contractual obligations
- group interest + high CUA = cultural values
- self-interest + high CUA = nothing works!
PART IV - The Players
Chapter 11 - The Sports Analogy
When a person is not doing his job, there can only be two reasons for it. The person either can't do it or won't do it; he is either not capable or not motivated.
Maslow's theory of motivation:
- Physiological Needs
- Security/Safety Needs
- Social/Affiliation Needs
- Esteem/Recognition Needs
- Self-Actualization Needs
Chapter 12 - Task-Relevant Maturity
Chapter 13 - Performance Appraisal: Manager as Judge and Jury
Delivering the Assessment:
- Level with your subordinate
- Listen (including body language)
- Leave yourself out
The stages of problem solving:
- Blame others
- Assume responsibility
- Find solution
"Don't confuse emotional comfort with operational need. To make things work, people do not need to side with you; you only need them to commit themselves to pursue a course of action that has been decided upon."
Chapter 14 - Two Difficult Tasks
"If performance appraisal is difficult, interviewing is just about impossible."
Purpose of an interview:
- Select a good performer
- Educate him as to who you and the company are
- Determine if a mutual match exists
- Sell him on the job
Chapter 15 - Compensation as Task-Relevant Feedback
"Money has significance at all levels of Maslow's motivation hierarchy."
Chapter 16 - Why Training Is the Boss's Job
"A manager generally has two ways to raise the level of individual performance of his subordinates: by increasing motivation, the desire of each person to do his job well, and by increasing individual capability, which is where training comes in. [...] Training is, quite simply, one of the highest-leverage activities a manager can perform."
"Training should be a process, not an event."