Peter Drucker

The greatest wisdom not applied to action and behavior is meaningless data.

Peter F. Drucker

The flaw in so many policy statements, especially those of business, is that they contain no action commitment—to carry them out is no one’s specific work and responsibility. Small wonder then that the people in the organization tend to view such statements cynically, if not as declarations of what top management is really not going to do.

Peter F. Drucker

It is a waste of time to worry about what will be acceptable and what the decision maker should or should not say so as not to evoke resistance. (The things one worries about seldom happen, while objections and difficulties no one thought about may suddenly turn out to be almost insurmountable obstacles.) In other words, the decision maker gains nothing by starting out with … [ Read more ]

Peter F. Drucker

Effective executives know when a decision has to be based on principle and when it should be made pragmatically, on the merits of the case. They know the trickiest decision is that between the right and the wrong compromise, and they have learned to tell one from the other. They know that the most time-consuming step in the process is not making the decision but … [ Read more ]

The Effective Decision

Effective executives do not make a great many decisions. They concentrate on what is important. They try to make the few important decisions on the highest level of conceptual understanding. They try to find the constants in a situation, to think through what is strategic and generic rather than to “solve problems.” They are, therefore, not overly impressed by speed in decision making; rather, they … [ Read more ]

Peter Drucker

The most serious mistakes are not being made as a result of wrong answers. The true dangerous thing is asking the wrong question.

Peter Drucker

We spend a lot of time helping leaders learn what to do. We do not spend enough time teaching leaders what to stop. Half of the leaders I have met don’t need to learn what to do. They need to learn what to stop.

Peter Drucker

For any knowledge worker, even for the file clerk, there are two laws. The first one is that knowledge evaporates unless it’s used and augmented. Skill goes to sleep, it becomes rusty, but it can be restored and refurbished very quickly. That’s not true of knowledge. If knowledge isn’t challenged to grow, it disappears fast. It’s infinitely more perishable than any other resource we have … [ Read more ]

Peter Drucker

Information, like electricity, is energy. Just as electrical energy is energy for mechanical tasks, information is energy for mental tasks.

Peter Drucker

Psychology tells us that the one sure way to shut off all perception is to flood the senses with stimuli. That’s why the manager with reams of computer output on his desk is hopelessly uninformed. That’s why it’s so important to exploit the computer’s ability to give us only the information we want—nothing else. The question we must ask is not, “How many figures can … [ Read more ]

Peter Drucker

We cannot put on the computer what we cannot quantify. And we cannot quantify what we cannot define. Many of the important things, the subjective things, are in this category. To know something, to really understand something important, one must look at it from 16 different angles. People are perceptually slow, and there is no shortcut to understanding; it takes a great deal of time. … [ Read more ]

Peter Drucker

The most common source of mistakes in management decisions is the emphasis on finding the right answer rather than the right question.

Peter Drucker

There is no perfect strategic decision. One always has to pay a price. One always has to balance conflicting objectives, conflicting opinions, and conflicting priorities. The best strategic decision is only an approximation – and a risk.

Peter Drucker

No business can do everything. Even if it has the money, it will never have enough good people. It has to set priorities. The worst thing to do is a little bit of everything. It is better to pick the wrong priority than none at all.

Peter Drucker

Strategic management is not a box of tricks or a bundle of techniques. It is analytical thinking and commitment of resources to action. But quantification alone is not planning. Some of the most important issues in strategic management cannot be quantified at all.

Peter Drucker

Above all, we know that an entrepreneurial strategy has more chance of success the more it starts with the users—their utilities, their values, their realities […] the test of an innovation is always what it does for the user […] it is by no means hunch or gamble. But it is also not precisely science. Rather, it is judgment.

Peter Drucker

You have to focus on success, especially unexpected success, and run with it. Most problems cannot be solved—most problems can only be survived. And one survives problems by making them irrelevant because of success. This is a matter, above all, of placing people. What I have learned to do is to take a sheet and list our opportunities and the risks. And then I make … [ Read more ]

Peter Drucker

There’s a human law that says that the gap between the one at the top and the average is a constant. And it’s terribly hard to work on that huge average. You work on the few at the top, and you raise them, and the rest will follow.

Peter Drucker

A time of turbulence is a dangerous time, but its greatest danger is a temptation to deny reality.

Peter Drucker

One should not minimize risks any place, for it minimizes opportunities. Minimizing risk is a self-defeating strategy and not a particularly intelligent one… One doesn’t begin with risks. You list the opportunities and then you compare the risk against them. The opportunity-risk ratio determines your strategy, not the risks.

There are risks that you can afford to take because the opportunities are so great. There are … [ Read more ]