High Output Management is regarded as the management tome of the startup industry. Written by Andy Grove, the late co-founder and CEO of Intel, it describes a management framework that helped propel Intel to market dominance. The concepts in High Output Management are still actively practiced today.
I’ve found this Medium article to be an excellent summary of the core concepts of the book, although there’s no substitute for reading it fully.
The concepts in High Output Management mostly pertain to the the domains of managing individuals and managing teams. There are also some lessons on goal setting that apply within the application domain.
In the domain of managing individuals, the book talks about the following concepts:
- Managerial leverage dramatically impacts organizational output.
- Motivate employees by “shaping the field” based on what drives them.
- Manage in the context of task-relevant maturity.
- Use performance reviews to improve performance.
- When an employee quits, it’s the manager’s fault.
- Recycle high achievers who are over-promoted.
- Training is the manager’s job.
In the domain of managing teams, the book talks about:
- Meetings are a medium of work.
- Decisions are the output of a process framed by six questions.
- As organizations grow speed decreases while leverage increases.
- Functional teams increase leverage, mission-oriented teams increase speed.
- Dual reporting increases both leverage and speed.
- Manage teams by setting expectations and cultural values.
In the application domain, high output management covers a few key concepts:
- Focus on vital, measurable indicators of output.
- Manage short-term objectives based on long-term plans.
High Output Management is all signal - every chapter has a unique insight and there’s hardly any filler that dominates so much leadership writing.
It also fits well within the structure of the lattice. Most of the concepts cover the sections through which all managerial leverage is exercised - people and teams. This is highly appropriate for the book that introduced the concept of managerial leverage itself.