Selected by Zeeshan Ahmed Khan

Sep 26 - Oct 02, 2005


"Traditional organizations rest on command authority. Information-based organizations rest on responsibility"

When a company builds its organization around modern information technology, it must ask the question: "who requires what information, when and where?" And then those management position and management layers whose duty it has been to report rather than to do can be scrapped.

But, the information based organization demands self-discipline and upward responsibility from the first-level supervisor all the way to top management. Traditional organizations rest on command authority. Information-based organizations rest on responsibility. The flow is circular from the bottom up and then down again. The information-based system can, therefore, function only if each individual and each unit accepts responsibility: for their goals and their priorities, for their relationships, and for their communications. This in turn makes possible fast decisions and quick responses. These advantages will be obtained only if there are understanding, share values, and, above all, mutual respect. If every player needs to know the score, there has to be a common language, a common core of unity. If the organization is information-based, diversification in which financial control is the only language is bound to collapse into the confusion of the Tower of Babel.

ACTION POINT: Is your organization held together by financial controls or by understanding, shared values, and mutual respect? Accept responsibility for yourself and your unit, including your goals, your relationships, and your communications.



"The greatest waste of resources in all the organizations I have seen is the failed promotion."

Why should people who, for ten or fifteen years, have been competent suddenly become incompetent? The reason in practically all cases I have seen is that people continue in their new assignment to do what made them successful in the old assignment and what earned them the promotion. Then they turn incompetent, not because they have become incompetent, but because they are doing the wrong things.

What the new assignment requires is not superior knowledge or superior talent. It requires concentration on the things that the new assignment requires, the things that are crucial to the new challenge, the new job, and the new task.

ACTION POINT: Do not continue to do in your new assignment what made you successful in the old one. When you enter a new assignment, ask "what new things should I be doing in my new assignment to be effective?:



"Organise for the next day at the end of the previous day. This is what gives me peace of mind at night, a feeling that I am on top of things, and a real excitement about coming into work the next morning. Simply by arranging the next day - defining on paper what I want to accomplish - I feel that I have a head start."
MARK H. McCORMACK, Americansports marketing consultants, founder and CEO of International Management Group, and author.

"What's the difference between a leader and a manager? Leader know the best course of action, while managers only know the best way to follow it."

"He who has never learned to obey cannot be a good commander."
ARISTOTLE (384-322BC), Greek Philosopher. Politics (4th century BC)

"Leadership is all about taking. Followers take orders, leaders take charge."

"Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things."
Peter Drucker and Warren Bennis. American academics and authors. Quoted in Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (Simon & Schuster, New York, 1989).

"Effective negotiation persuade their counterparts. They understand that it is usually more pursuasive to convince the other side than the given result would be fair rather than convince by stubbornness. Arguing about what they will or won't do creates a contest in which the other side knows that stubbornness will be rewarded. That is not an incentice we would like to create for either side. We would like both parties to be open to new ideas. We are not saying 'be fair to be nice,' or even 'be fair to produce a fair agreement.' Those are possible by-products. We are suggesting that criteria of fairness are valuable as a sword to persuade others and as a shield to protect ourselves from being unfairly treated."
(ROGER FISHER, American law professor at Harward Law school, conflict management consultant and author, and DANNY ERTEL, American dispute resolution counsellor, columnist and author. Getting ready to negotiate.

"If you want ten days of happiness, grow grain. If you want ten years of happiness, grow a tree. If you want hundred years of happiness, grow people."
(HARVEY MACKAY, American business executive, CEO of Mackay Envelope company, motivator and author.)

"I never think of the future. It comes soon enough."
Albert Einstein (1879-1955), German-Swiss-American Physicist.