About the Author
Peter Drucker, the author of the book titled, Managing for Results (Economic Tasks and Risk-Taking Decisions), was born in Vienna in 1909 and educated in Austria and England. From 1929, Drucker was a newspaper correspondent abroad and an economist for an international bank in London. Since 1937, he has been in the United States, first as an economist for a group of British banks and insurance companies, and since the early 40s, as a management consultant for many large American companies. A recipient of national and international awards, Drucker also teaches management at New York University’s Graduate Business School. Read further in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Drucker
About the Book
The book is about the economic responsibilities that any business has to shoulder to achieve desired financial performance as well as results. In other words, it is about how a business manager can properly organise economic tasks so systematically, understandably and reasonably with the possibility of accomplishing tangible results. According to Drucker, economic performance is the primary function and contribution of any business enterprise and the principal purpose of its establishment. A lot of hard work is required to achieve financial performance and results, and the work has to be thought through and done with direction, method and purpose. The book contains secrets of business success and the need to focus on opportunities rather than problems in any business engagement.
Structure wise, this book is segmented into three parts of fourteen chapters. Part One is generally christened Understanding Business and contains eight chapters.
Chapter 1 is entitled Business Realities. It is a matter of necessity for executives to spend more time and meditation on the future of their businesses. They should also spend more time and thought on many other good things, their social and community responsibilities, for instance. Before an executive can think of tackling the future, he must be able to dispose of the challenges of today in less time and with more significant impact and permanence. For this, he needs a systematic approach to today’s job.
In Chapters 2 and 3, Drucker discusses the concepts of result areas and revenues, resources and prospects. Specifically, the business manager needs first to identify and understand those areas in a business for which results can be measured. Such result areas are the businesses within the broader business complex, product and product lines (or services), markets (including customers and end-users), and distributive channels. Only an occasional very small speciality business can be the leader with all of its product and services in all its market and end-uses – with all its customers and in all its distributive channels.
Chapter 4 is based on the question of what corporate players are doing. Development products deserve the best a company has in terms of management and technical work and sales and service. The real problem of development products is not what they are and do today but ensuring that they do not turn into the worst of all product categories, which is an investment in managerial ego.
In Chapters 5 to 7, the author discusses the concepts of cost centres and cost structures. The customer as the business and knowledge as the business, respectively. Most cost-cutting, let alone the across-the-board cut does not even touch waste. Yet, in every business, waste is a real cost centre.
Chapter 6 reflects that the purpose of the businesses is to create customers and provide something for which independent outsiders who can choose not to buy, are willing to exchange their purchasing power. Knowledge is the business entirely, as much as a customer is the business. Physical goods or services are only the vehicle for the exchange of customer purchasing power against business knowledge.
Chapter 7 acknowledges knowledge as basically a human resource that is found in books. Books contain information, whereas knowledge is the ability to apply information to specific work and performance.
In Chapter 8, the author weaves other analysis together into an understanding of all the existing businesses, its fundamental economic characteristics, performance capacity, opportunities as well as needs.
Part Two of the book covering Chapters 9 to 11 is based on available opportunities as well as needs contained in each of the major economic dimensions of the business, such as making the ongoing business effective, finally realising the business potential and establishing the future prospects of the business now. To make any business effective, the executive can start with a model of the ideal business that will produce maximum results from available markets and knowledge, maximise opportunities by focusing their available resources on the most attractive possibilities, and maximise resources so that those opportunities are found that endow their available high-quality resources with the greatest possible impact.
The last part of the book is Part Three, which covers Chapters 12 to 14. It focuses on the performance programme. In other words, it presents the conversion of insights as well as decisions into purpose performance. Decisions are made, and actions are taken at every step in the analysis of the business and of its economic dimensions. Insights are ‘bled off’ and converted into task and work assignments. At every level of the analysis, they should be measurable results.
Chapter 13 is based on business strategies. Whatever the programme of the company is, it must decide what opportunities to pursue, its scope and structure, among other things.
Chapter 14 asserts that it is challenging to build a business performance into a human organisation. A company, after all, does not have a program for achievement. Is executives have such a program, walk it out, formulate it, and make it effective. Economic forces do not produce financial results, for they are human achievement.
Stylistically, Drucker’s efforts are commendable in the text, given his logical presentation and simplicity of language. He employs a lot of detailed analysis, and didactical illustrations to ensure is understanding on the reader’s part. What’s more, in the book, he deploys his rare genius for breaking through conventional outlooks and opening up new perspectives in the world of business. Is your desire to manage your business and get excellent results? Then you do not need in soothsayer to tell you that you need a copy of this masterpiece. It is simply a must-read and must digests!
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