A Worthwhile Management Book

Thomas E. Ricks’ book, “The Generals”, is the history and essentially a performance evaluation of more than a dozen US Army Generals from World War II through 2012. It is not very flattering for some generals. It is a well-written management and leadership book. Although not intended to be a textbook its examples of what led to successes and failures may be helpful for civilian business managers – including members of Boards of Directors... Read More

Peter Drucker’s Tenets

Peter Drucker, a writer of 39 books and a management consultant, was considered the “father of modern management”. An avid student of managing complex businesses, he was the advisor who helped mold many corporations into industry leaders which forged this country’s ability to become an economic super power. A Sampling of Mr. Drucker’s Tenets: “In most business failures, the board was the last to realize that things were going wrong.” “Managers... Read More

What Leads to Business Failure?

Donald Keough’s book “The Ten Commandments for Business Failure”is an interesting, creditable book useful to Chief Executive Officers with a company culture that needs improvement. Donald Keough is the former President of The Coca-Cola Company. The book is a short, easy read that covers all the elements of a positive culture. Some of it is self-evident. But if officers, second and third tier managers all read it, it would contribute to a re-focused... Read More

Can Manufacturing Return to the USA?

The need to move USA manufacturing operations to competitive economic climates, has been essential for a Company’s survival.  This exodus to a number of foreign countries, mainly to China and Mexico, has had a negative impact on the USA – its economy, median incomes, standards of living. Today, New Balance Inc. is a rather unique exception to the migration trend.  For more than twenty years, this successful Boston manufacturer of athletic... Read More

China to surpass USA as World Leader in manufacturing?

The headline in a June 2010 Financial Times article was bothersome. It chronicled “US Manufacturing Crown Slips”. In summary, the article reported: “The US remained the world’s biggest manufacturing nation by output last year, but is poised to relinquish this slot in 2011 to China – thus ending a 110-year run as the number one country in factory production.” “Last year, the US created 19.9 per cent of world manufacturing output, compared... Read More

Why William Clay Ford, Jr. Failed

In October 2006, the Ford Motor Company replaced William Clay Ford, Jr. as its Chief Executive Officer. Why did Mr. Ford fail? His own words, reported by Micheline Maynard of the New York Times on July 16, 2006, titled “Is Ford Running On Empty” revealed the answer. “I bowed to managers on what I knew were product development mistakes”. “I can’t delegate to anybody…dealing with unyielding managers that stymie and condescend... Read More

Kinko’s. Was it Damaged?

Claudia H. Deutsch of the NY Times reported on Clayton, Dubilier & Rice’s management of Kinko’s on May 5th 2007 with an article titled “Paper Jam At FedEx Kinko’s”. One quote referring to the culture change: “Some say Clayton, Dubilier massacred Kinko’s, and that FedEx can never repair the damage.” On March 8, 2008 the New York Times reported again on the issue, “…the unit has underperformed since FedEx bought... Read More

A Helpful History Book for CEOs

I came across an impressive book, which would be very helpful to any CEO.  It is an interesting historical effort and was referenced in a footnote of a best selling business book “Good to Great”. It proved to be a better book on management in my opinion, than the popular business publication. Barbara Tuchman wrote “The March of Folly”.  In the work, she reviews four historical debacles.  The reasons for these past failures, was primarily... Read More

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Robert Amter
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bob@robertamter.com