Management in Great Organizations

Manila Bulletin, September 30, 2005 | Go to article overview
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Management in Great Organizations


BESIDES having a great leader, the first function of management in excellent organizations according to Jim Collins in his recent book "Good to Great,'' is attracting the right people. It is "who" even before the "what" in an organization that matters. He uses the analogy of a bus, where he says the important thing is who are on the bus even before determining where you are going or how you are going there or what route you are going to take. He emphasizes the saying that the important thing is people is not exactly correct. The important thing is the right people. A corollary to this is getting the wrong people off the bus.

Jim Collins is a former Stanford University professor who investigated what transformed good American companies into great organizations. According to him great companies have teams that "consist of people who debate vigorously in search of the best answers, yet who unify behind decisions, regardless of parochial interests." Choosing the right people, needs to be applied rigorously. Three practical disciplines, according to him that they uncovered were "1. When in doubt, don't hire - keep looking... 2. When you know you need to make a people change, act... 3. Put your best people on your biggest opportunities, not on your biggest problems."

This is echoed by Jack Welch in his book "Winning." In people he looks for energy, and those who can energize others, make decisions, come up with results, and are passionate about their jobs. However, he does not even allow beyond the front door those who do not have integrity, practical intelligence, or maturity. They do not get to ride in the Collins bus. These are traits which are not susceptible to training and development.

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