Executive in Action: Three Drucker Management Books on What to Do and Why and How to Do It

Overview

Three complete Drucker management books in one volume — Managing for Results, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and The Effective Executive with a new preface by the author.

In his preface, Peter F. Drucker says: "These three books should enable executives — whether high up in the organization or just beginning their career
— to know the ...

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The Executive in Action: Three Drucker Management Books on What to Do and Why and How to Do It

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Overview

Three complete Drucker management books in one volume — Managing for Results, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and The Effective Executive with a new preface by the author.

In his preface, Peter F. Drucker says: "These three books should enable executives — whether high up in the organization or just beginning their career
— to know the right things to do;
— to know how to do them; and
— to do them effectively.Together, these three books provide The Toolkit for Executive Action."

Drucker identifies and explains the practices, decisions and priorities for achieving business performance and executive effectiveness. These books cover "the three dimensions of the successful practice of management." Managing for Results was the first book to explain business strategy. Drucker shows how the existing business has to focus on opportunities rather than problems to be effective, for it is the opportunities that will bring growth and performance. Innovation and Entrepreneurship analyzes the challenges and opportunities of America's new entrepreneurial economy. It is a superbly practical book that explains what established businesses, public service institutions and new ventures have to know, learn and do to prepare and create the successful businesses of tomorrow. In The Effective Executive, Drucker discusses the five practices and habits that must be learned for executive effectiveness. Ranging widely through business and government, he demonstrates the distinctive skill of the executive and offers fresh insights into old and seemingly obvious situations. Together, these three books have sold more than a million copies; they have been published throughout the world and continue to sell actively. These are essential works for the executive and manager by "the dean of this country's business and management philosophers." —Wall Street Journal

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Editorial Reviews

Fortune
Any book by Drucker is rewarding and it is impossible to read the man without learning a lot...Drucker's ideas continue to display a force and resonance that leave him pretty much in a class by himself.
Warren Bennis
The most important management thinker of our time.
Harvard Business Review
His writings are landmarks of the managerial profession.
Walter B. Wriston
Peter Drucker's perceptions of the trends and forces at work shaping society today and tomorrow not only fascinate and instruct but may be ignored only at our peril.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780887308284
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/21/1996
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 736
  • Sales rank: 678,202
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 2.09 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter F. Drucker is considered the most influential management thinker ever. The author of more than twenty-five books, his ideas have had an enormous impact on shaping the modern corporation. Drucker passed away in 2005.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One



That executives give neither sufficient time nor sufficient thought to the future is a universal complaint. Every executive voices it when he talks about his own working day and when he talks or writes to his associates. It is a recurrent theme in the articles and in the books on management.

It is a valid complaint. Executives should spend more time and thought on the future of their business. They also should spend more time and thought on a good many other things, their social and community responsibilities for instance. Both they and their businesses pay a stiff penalty for these neglects. And yet, to complain that executives spend so little time on the work of tomorrow is futile. The neglect of the future is only a symptom; the executive slights tomorrow because he cannot get ahead of today. That too is a symptom. The real disease is the absence of any foundation of knowledge and system for tackling the economic tasks in business.

Today's job takes all the executive's time, as a rule; yet it is seldom done well. Few managers are greatly impressed with their own performance in the immediate tasks. They feel themselves caught in a "rat race," and managed by whatever the mailboy dumps into their "in" tray. They know that crash programs which attempt to "solve' this or that particular "urgent" problem rarely achieve right and lasting results. And yet, they rush from one crash program to the next. Worse still, they know that the same problems recur again and again, no matter how many times they are "solved."

Before an executive can think of tackling the future, he must be able therefore to dispose of the challenges of today inless time and with greater impact and permanence. For this he needs a systematic approach to today's job.

There are three different dimensions to the economic task: (1) The present business must be made effective; (2) its potential must be identified and realized; (3) it must be made into a different business for a different future. Each task requires a distinct approach. Each asks different questions. Each comes out with different conclusions. Yet they are inseparable. All three have to be done at the same time: today. All three have to be carried out with the same organization, the same resources of men, knowledge, and money, and in the same entrepreneurial process. The future is not going to be made tomorrow; it is being made today, and largely by the decisions and actions taken with respect to the tasks of today. Conversely, what is being done to bring about the future directly affects the present. The tasks overlap. They require one unified strategy. Otherwise, they cannot really get done at all.

To tackle any one of these jobs, let alone all three together, requires an understanding of the true realities of the business as an economic system, of its capacity for economic performance, and of the relationship between available resources and possible results. Otherwise, there is no alternative to the "rat race." This understanding never comes ready-made; it has to be developed separately for each business. Yet the assumptions and expectations that underlie it are largely common. Businesses are different, but business is much the same, regardless of size and structure, of products, technology and markets, of culture and managerial competence. There is a common business reality.

There are actually two sets of generalizations that apply to most businesses most of the time: one with respect to the results and resources of a business, one with respect to its efforts. Together they lead to a number of conclusions regarding the nature and direction of the entrepreneurial job.

Most of these assumptions will sound plausible, perhaps even familiar, to most businessmen, but few businessmen ever pull them together into a coherent whole. Few draw action conclusions from them, no matter how much each individual statement agrees with their experience and knowledge. As a result, few executives base their actions on these, their own assumptions and expectations.

1. Neither results nor resources exist inside the business. Both exist outside. There are no profit centers within the business; there are only cost centers. The only thing one can say with certainty about any business activity, whether engineering or selling, manufacturing or accounting, is that it consumes efforts and thereby incurs costs. Whether it contributes to results remains to be seen.

Results depend not on anybody within the business nor on anything within the control of the business. They depend on somebody outside ' the customer in a market economy, the political authorities in a controlled economy. It is always somebody outside who decides whether the efforts of a business become economic results or whether they become so much waste and scrap.

The same is true of the one and only distinct resource of any business: knowledge. Other resources, money or physical equipment, for instance, do not confer any distinction. What does make a business distinct and what is its peculiar resource is its ability to use knowledge of all kinds ' from scientific and technical knowledge to social, economic, and managerial knowledge. It is only in respect to knowledge that a business can be distinct, can therefore produce something that has a value in the market place.

Yet knowledge is not a business resource. It is a universal social resource. It cannot be kept a secret for any length of time. "What one man has done, another man can always do again" is old and Profound wisdom. The one decisive resource of business, therefore, is as much outside of the business as are business results.

Indeed, business can be defined as a process that converts an outside resource, namely knowledge, into outside results, namely economic values.

2. Results are obtained by exploiting opportunities, not by solving problems. All one can hope to get by solving a problem is to restore normality. All one can hope, at best, is to eliminate a restriction on the capacity of the business to obtain results.

The Executive in Action. Copyright © by Peter F. Drucker. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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