IS ANYONE SO WISE THAT HE CAN LEARN FROM THE EXPERIENCE OF OTHERS?VOLTAIREFew are trained to manage, we study other things-marketing, engineering, finance, manufacturing, information systems and so forth. In the course of doing these things, some are identified for their brilliance, for their hard work, or by chance and they become managers. By then, they assimilated ideas (most of which are wrong) about business principles and management's role. That personal experience is insufficient for, as Henry Kissenger said of Presidents, they enter office with a store of ideas and principles that are exhausted in execution.The same can be said of managers, and because of these limitations organization structures evolved so that people of mediocre talent can run them. Unfortunately, mediocre talent produces at best mediocre results. In times of trouble, especially, organizations need an illuminating strategy, clear thinking, unfettered inquiry and the scouring of complacency. Advice from the World's Great Thinkers is designed to help managers deal with the myriad and plethora of unanticipated events that crowd their schedule.
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January 30, 2012
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