High-Output Management - Andy Grove

Now that I'm back in management, I thought I should catch up on a few more management books. Google's management philosophy is (or was) allegedly based on this book, so I thought it was worth a read.

This book is the missing manual for being a manager.

It's not about Leadership or abstract stuff. It's about the nitty-gritty of what management's about, and how to do it. Grove's model is that the output of a manager is the work their team does, which sounds simple but does force clarity around a fairly hand-wavy area. It's about results.

From there, it covers lots of useful stuff, especially around meetings, one-to-ones, feedback and appraisals. Grove is clearly a workaholic and makes no bones about it - but it's really worked for him. :p

This is a book from the early '80s. It's based around the experiences of physically manufacturing stuff. E-mail is not a given. So, there are things that do not translate to the modern environment. They're kinda interesting historically, but they're not entirely useless since all the suggestions are grounded in principles, so that they can be extrapolated to the modern high-tech workplace.

Is it good? Yes. It's pretty short, but very solid and practical, and makes a nice contrast to most other hand-wavy management books. I don't want to take everything in it verbatim, but it's flexible enough to work. I wish I'd had it when I started managing.

Posted 2016-12-08.