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Good management screens out the distractions and concentrates on essential tasks. It requires intense focus, discipline, energy, and commitment on the part of leaders.

Good Management of Manufacturing

  1. Get to know the customer
  2. Cut work in process
  3. Cut flow times
  4. Cut setup and changeover times
  5. Cut flow distance and space
  6. Increase make/deliver frequency for each required item


  1. Be committed to success.
  2. Set proper priorities.
  3. Set and demand high standards of excellence.
  4. Be tough but fair in dealing with people.
  5. Concentrate on positives and possibilities.
  6. Develop and maintain a strong sense of urgency.
  7. Pay attention to detail.
  8. Provide for the ability to fail.
  9. Be personally involved.
  10. . Have fun.
  11. "Keep It Simple." We begin with an overarching principle: Keep it simple. Peter Drucker said it well a generation ago when he explained management simply in terms of the five functions it performs: (1) setting objectives; (2) organizing work (which includes planning and assigning responsibility); (3) motivating and communicating; (4) measuring (and following up); and (5) developing people.* Despite the vast literature on management written in the intervening years, there really isn't more to add.
  12. "Commitment to Planning." Management cannot do its job without deep personal involvement in planning. At Emerson, planning is a contact sport--a rigorous, intense activity performed by the people in each of our divisions engaging the top leaders of the company.
  13. "Strong System of Follow-Up and Control." A recent quote in the business press declared "Vision without execution is hallucination." Many failing companies break down on just this point: they have reasonable strategies but fall short in execution. They know what to do but for some reason don't do it.
  14. "Action-Oriented Organization." Problems never disappear of their own accord. Effective leaders instill a sense of urgency in their organizations, and effective organizations take timely action to remove barriers. We have a visceral aversion to bureaucracy. We operate at the corporate level without a published organization chart because we want people to communicate quickly in terms of plans, projects, and problems, and not along organizational lines.
  15. "Operational Excellence." As a manufacturer competing globally, Emerson defines operational excellence in terms of the standards to which it must adhere to excel in a fast-changing, highly competitive business. We must develop the best products, services, and solutions and produce them at the best cost. This requires a deep understanding of customer needs and priorities. If customers have a reason to look elsewhere, they will: plenty of alternatives are available.
  16. "Creating an Environment in Which People Can and Do Make a Difference." The final element of the management process is leadership, which we define as creating an environment in which people can and do make a difference. Leadership is a subjective matter, and there is no single correct view of what makes a good leader. My own definition of what works best in an organization is listed in the box "Ten Keys to Business Leadership."

PERFORMANCE WITHOUT COMPROMISE by Charles F. Knight with Davis Dyer

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Page last modified on February 23, 2007, at 02:41 PM EST