IBM and Peter F. Drucker: Managers Must Recognize Ability
Developing Men is a Management Responsibility
Above all, it [any large scale organization] must make it clear to each supervisor and manager that the training and development of subordinates is a part of his duties. It must be made to be to the self-interest of executives to look upon their subordinates and potential successors as human assets whose maximum utilization is as important to the institution as is the maximum utilization of natural resources.
To have trained a potential successor must become one of the achievements which qualify a man for promotion, instead, as it far too often is today, a stumbling block.
Peter F. Drucker
The Concept of the Corporation
"The Corporation as Human Effort - Leadership"
Executives Must Promote Talent
"When a man comes into this business, no matter what his capacity, the job of being president is as accessible to him as is the next job above him. That man in this business that does not recognize outstanding ability on the part of a man under him - who fails to give that ability an opportunity to express itself in greater responsibility and better work, is of no further use to us.
Our executives know that. They are constantly looking for men. They know that it is human ability above all else that will help this company succeed. Our general manager of manufacturing started at an assembly bench. Our vice-president in charge of sales began with a sample case. The secretary of this company came here as a clerk. We do not have to go outside our own company to get top-notchers. We develop them. Developing and keeping men is one of the biggest jobs the heads of American business have."
Thomas. J. Watson Sr.
"System, The Magazine of Business," 1926
"I suppose some of you salesmen are wondering why there are so many executives here on the platform. I can assure you we did not ask these men to come up here so that you might see how handsome they are, or even just to hear them talk. That includes me.
The reason they are here is that we want to give the men at headquarters an opportunity to look into the faces of the men who are most directly responsible for our company’s progress."
Thomas. J. Watson Sr.
The World's Greatest Salesman
Speaking as he and his executive staff looked out on the 1931 One Hundred Percent Club attendees in January, 1932
When was the last time a story circulated about a United States' Chief Executive Officer sending a message as clearly and precisely about their responsibility for human capital as Tom Watson Sr.? How many American executives today believe that "developing and keeping men and women" is one of their biggest jobs? How many delegate that job to H.R. and never verify that H.R. policies are working effectively at developing and keeping their best employees?
Peter E. Greulich Insight
April 14, 2013
April 14, 2013
Peter E. Greulich is an author, publisher and public speaker.
He has written three books on IBM and three essays on Thomas J. Watson Sr.’s leadership during the Great Depression. His latest book, Think Again!: IBM CAN Maximize Shareholder Value is a sweeping historical look at IBM and its nine chief executives. It puts a spotlight on IBM's current human resource practices in light of IBM’s time-tested, human-relationship achievements.
THINK Again! is a different perspective from Louis V. Gerstner’s Who Says Elephants Can’t Dance. Pete's thoughts are always a view from beneath—the perspective of an IBM employee-owner. IBMers with stories to share can reach Pete at IBMers @ mbiconcepts.com.