Quotes in management
Effective management always means asking the right question.
Lead yourself, lead your superiors, lead your peers, and free your people to do the same. All else is trivia.
95% of changes made by management today make no improvement.
Successful problem solving requires finding the right solution to the right problem. We fail more often because we solve the wrong problem than because we get the wrong solution to the right problem.
Managers don't like giving appraisals, and employees don't like getting them. Perhaps they're not liked because both parties suspect what the evidence has proved for decades: Traditional performance appraisals don't work.
The most basic problem is that performance appraisals often don't accurately assess performance.
Possibly the biggest issue, however, is that performance appraisals focus managers' attention on precisely the wrong thing: individual people. As W. Edwards Deming, the father of the quality movement, taught a long time ago, company performance often results more from variations in systems than from the individuals doing the work.
Management must provide employees with tools that will enable them to do their jobs better, and with encouragement to use these tools. In particular, they must collect data.
Managers are not confronted with problems that are independent of each other, but with dynamic situations that consist of complex systems of changing problems that interact with each other. I call such situations messes. Problems are extracted from messes by analysis. Managers do not solve problems, they manage messes.
Most corporate mission statements are worthless. They consist largely of pious platitudes such as: "We will hold ourselves to the highest standards of professionalism and ethical behavior." They often formulate necessities as objectives; for example, "to achieve sufficient profit." This is like a person saying his mission is to breathe sufficiently.