I chanced upon this book “High Output management” by Andy Grove from a review by Ben Horowitz (I have been a fan of venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz based in Menlo Park for the past few years). I immediately wish that I could have read this 5-6 years ago. It would make material changes to my work and the team that I managed/is managing.
The book was written back in 1983, in a rather straight forward and logical fashion. There are so many great comments about the book from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Mark Zuckerberg, Peter Drucker, Bill Campbell that I questioned myself repeated why I didn’t come across this sooner. After more than 30 years, I still find majority of the principles shared in the book highly applicable and valid.
So who is this book for? While Andy aimed at “the middle manager, the usually forgotten man or woman of any organization”, I think the book is so full of insights that it’s applicable to many people, from CEO, entrepreneurs, directors and managers at all level, in different types of companies at different sizes.
I would strongly advise you to read it as you would learn a very methodological approach to high output management. Andy explained his hypothesise with concrete examples, as basic as managing a breakfast factory to examples from Intel, a multi billion dollar corporation.
Andy’s book helped me to answer many questions that I have like:
- What is the output of a manager in a company?
- How do we achieve high managerial productivity?
- How should I set KPIs for my direct report, who are managers or senior managers?
- Does dual reporting work? and in which circumstances?
- How to plan your entire operation around “limiting step”? This reminds me of a lesson my mom accidentally taught me years ago. She explained to me how she could successfully prepare lunch at home in about half an hour (while teaching full time), so that my family could have lunch together (yes lunch ) at home when I was young. She instinctively planned her work based on “limiting step”
- How should I choose suitable indicators for the operation that I manage?
- How much time should I spend in meetings? People often say they shouldn’t spend too much time per day in meetings, but how do we know what type of meeting is good/required of a manager? How is it related to different types of managerial activities?
- How should I conduct/maintain good one to one meetings? How many one to one meetings should I have per week? What are the pros and cons?
- Should I be a hand-on or hand-off manager? In what instance should I change my approach?
That’s all from me today. I hope you would enjoy this book as much as I do. If you have any comments, feel free to drop them below or reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org