If you limit a company by its structure or by the people in the company, you will, by definition, limit the full potential of that business. It sounds basic, but a lot of companies don't follow the idea that the structure should be last and not first.
The decision to do that extra bit must be embedded in the company's culture.
I realised that if you want to change something, nine times out of ten you can change it more effectively from within.
A company needs smart young men with the imagination and the guts to turn everything upside down if they can. It also needs old figures to keep them from turning upside down those things that ought to be rightside up.
Take our 20 best people away, and I will tell you that Microsoft would become an unimportant company.
The CEO's role in raising a company's corporate IQ is to establish an atmosphere that promotes knowledge sharing and collaboration.
Every company has two organizational structures: The formal one is written on the charts; the other is the everyday relationships of the men and women in the organization.
Others appear frozen in the headlights - aware of the likely impact, yet paralysed by the fear of major transformations.
We have a very simple, clear organization. It's very easy to know who has authority for what, who has responsibility for what. There's no politics about it, they're virtually politics-free organizations.
Companies that stay ahead of change are ones in which their people see change as something they themselves accomplish and not something that is imposed on them. They see lots of opportunities to take initiative.
Quality is not a program that can be simply imposed on an operation; instead it is a way of operating that permeates a business and the thinking of its employees.
A powerful new idea can kick around unused in a company for years, not because its merits are not recognized, but because nobody has assumed the responsibility for converting it from words to action.
Generally, large companies are so inwardly directed that staff memorandums about growing bureaucracy get more attention than the dwindling competitive advantage of being big in the first place. David, who has a life, needn't use a slingshot. Goliath, who doesn't, is too busy reading office memos.
In Japan, organizations and people in the organization are synonymous.
I come from an environment where, if you see a snake, you kill it. At General Motors, if you see a snake, the first thing you do is hire a consultant on snakes.
In a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence ... in time every post tends to be occupied by an employee who is incompetent to carry out its duties ... Work is accomplished by those employees who have not yet reached their level of incompetence.
Women are becoming enormously successful ... They're running their businesses on what we call a familial model, a family, instead of a hierarchical top-down military model. They work with, not over or for.
In a small company, one person's hunch can be enough to launch a new product. In a big company, the same concept is likely to be buried in committee for months.
The kind of brain-dead, gum chewing assistant you find in so many shops drives me wild. I want everyone who works for me to feel the same excitement that I feel.
We need a can-do, vibrant, innovation-driven culture. Not wearing a tie is just a snippet of that.
An environment which calls for perfection is not likely to be easy. But aiming for it is always good for progress.
I want to begin with what I think is the most important factor: our respect for the individual. This is a simple concept, but in IBM it occupies a major portion of management time.
Look, you can take anything away from IBM ... but leave our people and this business will re-create itself overnight.
You have to put your heart in the business and the business in your heart.
They have this wonderful process of learning from direct experience calledAfter Action Review,in which everyone who was involved sits down and the three questions are: What happened? Why do you think it happened? And what can we learn from it? If you were ... able to get those three questions as part of your process, you could become a learning organization.