65-Year-Old Words that have Never Been More Timely
“What gets watched gets managed.” - Peter Drucker.
As many of you know- I’m an avid reader, and a firm believer you should be too; that’s a side tangent, however. Today, I’m going to let you in on a well-known secret from one of the first - yet most inspirational - business management authors I’ve read- Peter Drucker.
Drucker was born in Austria, and migrated to the United States where he became an influential management consultant and author, who penned no less than 39 - yes, 39 - books. One of them became almost biblical for me in terms of applying management skills in business: “Knowledge Worker,” which helped him gain his reputation has the father of modern management.
Notably, Drucker also took very customer-centric approach to management styles; which at the time was pioneering, considering there was a post-war boom, and business was good for nearly everyone… Many organisations could have skipped-out on customer satisfaction and still turned a profit. Drucker disagreed, however. One of his quotes was the definition of business, to which he stated “business, that’s easily defined- it’s other people’s money,” which drives home both his thesis and his ethics while doing business.
He believed that if an organisation is both intellectually and morally advanced, it will be more robust. In terms of that intellection robustness, he often noted the importance of self-reflection when it came to an organisation’s performance. Business, he believed, could only be improved if an organisation began to look inward for improvement, rather than outward for new customers.
Drucker's teachings help you accomplish your mission in two ways:
It will help you maintain motivation, or spur motivation from anyone in the business that is feeling as though the organisation is flat-lining. It is in human nature that whenever he is given a score based on something he did, it motivates him to improve his score.
It also paints a crystal-clear portrait about your organisation's standings, and helps you make effective future strategies from there-on.
This is the thing I want to drive home most in this piece. Drucker’s words, while they’re more than half a century old have never been more timely. Competition is more fierce than ever before, aided by the technological revolution where customers can now find organisations, rather than the other way around. In recognition of Drucker’s principles, in 2019 it’s still firmly my belief that an organisation is better prepared for the future by looking inward at improvement rather than solely fishing for new customers.
Say, for example, you win over a few of those customers, but they’re served with a subpar quality product or service? What good was winning them in the first place if they’ll not only leave your organisation, but spread negative feedback.
We’ve covered at some length the importance of tracking your organisation’s performance in recent feature, as well as the necessity to listen to your customers, and use that feedback as a learning exercise across your whole organisation’s operations.
Before I leave you, I’ll just sneakily remind you that some of Drucker’s most iconic guiding principles are encouraged, if not mandated by a quality management system, and is also where Best practice enters the equation. We’re here to support you with the things to keep an eye out in your organisation, mistakes to avoid, and best of all, you’ll get to learn from the mistakes we’ve seen made by other organisations without any detriment to your organisation.
Don’t underestimate the importance of looking at your operations; it’s essential, and often the difference between organisations that can weather a storm, and those that can’t.
A lot of this also ties into the theory of affirmative inquiry, which I'll be going into more detail on in a piece later this week. Remember- real change starts from within, and what gets watched gets managed. What gets managed, gets improved!
As always, thanks for your time, and cheers- here’s to watching those numbers rise!