Saturday, June 5, 2010

In search of Excellence

A while ago, I had read the book "In Search of Excellence" by Thomas J Peters and Robert H Waterman. One particular quote from this book had left an indelible impression on my understanding of Leadership. Sharing the same below..

"An effective leader must be the master of two ends of the spectrum: ideas at the highest level of abstraction and actions at the most mundane levels of details"

As professionals move up in the corporate ladder, I observe they becoming less and less Hands-On. Decisions made without proper understanding of ground realities or without enough attention to details almost always prove to be wrong. Hence it's imperative for professionals to keep themselves abreast of the latest happenings in their core business area.

For those who are interested, the book describes following 8 attributes of innovative organizations
  1. A bias for action
  2. Close to the the customer
  3. Autonomy and Entrepreneurship
  4. Productivity through People
  5. Hands on Value driven
  6. Stick to the knitting
  7. Simple form Lean Staff
  8. Simultaneous loose-tight properties
Yet another quote from this book on "Creativity vs Innovation"

"Creativity is thinking up new things, Innovation is doing new things.. A powerful new idea can kick around unused in the company for years, not because it's merits are not recognized but because nobody has assumed the responsibility of converting it from words into action. Ideas are useless unless used."

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