Instaread summary of High Output Management by Andrew S. Grove
Five out of five stars
I must confess up front that I read the original version of this book many years ago and was extremely impressed then. That opinion has only improved over time, for Grove demonstrated a foresight regarding the dramatic changes that were and would continue to take place in the business world. He is best known for the phrase “Only the paranoid survive,” a statement that is even more accurate now than it was when he first uttered it.
His main points are very unpleasant to consider but important to realize and professional death to deny. The first is: “Everyone is ultimately replaceable, and people must learn to enhance their value constantly to maintain an advantage.” The second is: “Due to the fast pace of change, the business world has also become less predictable. Managers must be mentally and emotionally comfortable with chaos and learn to anticipate the unexpected.”
Grove also points out that every manager should consider their output to be the sum total of the output of all those under them as well as themselves. Some time should be spent every day in thinking about ways to sensibly increase productivity or reduce costs. Even tiny increments help and can sum to much more than their individual parts.
This summary is a terse reminder of how much foresight Grove had into the dramatic changes that were taking place. Many business books originally written more than ten years ago are interesting only for the errors they contain, not so with this one. If you are a manager and are not convinced to read the book after reading this summary, I question your competence for the position.
This book was made available for free for review purposes.