I am such an admirer of Robert Noyce and the company he built, Intel. Gordon Moore also. I viewed Grove as a grouchy old curmudgeon and never paid too much attention to his perspective because of his temperament. Boy, was I missing out. I have new found respect for Mr Grove. I purchased this after reading Ben Horowitz’s book, “The Hard Thing About Hard Things.’ In which Mr Horowitz calls this one of best management book ever written.
This book reads like a textbook. There is ZERO fluff in it. I believe that would accurately describe Andy Grove, all substance and no fluff. Mr Grove is so smart and thorough and topics covered so dense that it took me a few times reading certain parts to fully understand the concepts. I also like the fact he wrote this book for middle managers. This is not a nebulous book on “Leadership”.
I can’t recommend this book enough. I have purchased many copies and i hand them out to friends of mine who I believe will read and put into practice the advice from this seminal work.
Interesting: Noyce, Moore and Grove = an amazing depth chart. Intel’s initial investor and former board chairman, Arthur Rock, toldthat “for Intel to succeed, Intel needed Noyce, Moore and Andrew Grove. And it needed them in that order. Noyce: the visionary, born to inspire; Moore: the virtuoso of technology; and Grove: the technologist turned management scientist.”
Recommended reading on Intel & Watch the PBS Documentary on Silicon Valley / Robert Noyce / Intel –
Andy Grove finishes his seminal book “High Output Management” with a list of tasks with points for each action. He did not title this list so I named it the “Manager’s Scorecard”. Andy says take time to choose some of the tasks honestly. He says pick 100 points and you will be a “distinctly better manager for it.”
- Identify the operations in your work most like process, assembly, and test production. 10 Points
- For a project you are working on, identify the limiting step and map out the flow of work around it. 10 Points
- Define the proper places for the equivalents of receiving inspection, in-process inspection, and final inspection in your work. Decide whether these inspections should be monitoring steps or gate-like. Identify the conditions under which you can relax things and move to a variable inspection scheme. 10 Points
- Identify half a dozen new indicators for your group’s output. they should measure both quality and quantity of the output. 10 Points.
- Install these new indicators as a routine in your work area, and establish their regular review in your staff meetings. 20 Points
- What is the most important strategy (plan of action) you are pursuing now? Describe the environmental demand that prompted it and your current status or momentum. Is your strategy likely to result in a satisfactory state of affairs for you or your organization is successfully implemented? 20 Points
- Conduct work simplification on your most tedious, time consuming task. Eliminate at least 30% of the total number of steps involved. 10 Points
- Define your output: What are the output elements of the organizations you can influence? List them in order of importance. 10 Points
- Analyze your information and knowledge gathering system. It is properly balanced amount “headlines,” “newspaper articles,” and “weekly news magazines”? Is redundancy built in? 10 Points
- Take a “tour.” Afterward, list the transactions you got involved in during its course. 10 Points
- Create a once-a-month excuse for a tour. 10 Points
- Describe how you will monitor the next project you delegate to a subordinate. What will you look for? How? How frequently? 10 Points
- Generate an inventory of projects on which you can work at discretionary times. 10 Points
- Hold a scheduled one on one what each of your subordinates. (Explain to them in advance what a one on one is about. Have them prepare for it.) 20 Points
- Look at your calendar for the last week. Classify your activities as low-/medium-/high-leverage. Generate a plan of action to do more of the high-leverage category. (What activities will you reduce?)
- Forecast the demand on your time for the next week. What portion of your time is likely to be spent in meetings? Which of these are process-oriented meetings? mission-oriented meetings? If the latter are over 25% of your total time, what should you do to reduce them? 10 Points
- Define the three most important objectives for you organization for the next three months. Support them, with key results. 20 Points
- Have your subordinates do the same for themselves, after a thorough discussion of the set generated above. 20 Points.
- Generate an inventory of pending decisions you are responsible for. Take three and structure the decision making process for them, using the six-question approach. 10 Points
- Evaluate your own motivation state in terms of the Maslow hierarchy. Do the same for each of your subordinates. 10 Points.
- Give your subordinates a racetrack: define a set of performance indicators for each. 10 Points
- List the various forms of task-relevant feedback your subordinates receive. How well can they gauge their progress through them?
- Classify the task relevant maturity of each of your subordinates as low, medium, or high. Evaluate the management style that would be most appropriate for each. Compare what your own style is with what it should be. 10 Points
- Evaluate the last performance review you received and also the last set of reviews you gave your subordinates a means of delivering task-relevant feedback. 20 Points
- Redo one of these reviews as it should have been done. 10 Points.