In Search Of Excelllence

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Aleksandra Dukovska

In the book In Search of Excellence, two authors, Thomas J.Peters and Robert H. Waterman, compare the way Japanese companies function with some of the most prominent American companies. Their study includes 62 important American companies in different fields.

Even though Peters and Waterman wrote In Search of the Excellence more than twenty years ago, it is motivating book for every leading person in the world of management.

Peters and Waterman wrote on the eight characteristics of excellent companies and measured their success according those values.

The eight characteristics are a bias for action, closeness to the customer, autonomy and entrepreneurship, productivity through people, hands-on value, stick to the knitting, simple form and lean staff, and simultaneous loose-tight properties.

The idea is that a well-run company uses individual or group initiative of so cold “average worker” to drive innovation and creative energy.

Therefore, one of the follow up conclusions after reading In Search of Excellence is that the 62 companies it mentions try to have strong corporate values, and that the all of the employee should share those values.

The employees’ positions correlate with the culture produced by the company.  Therefore, the company’s strategy is to build repeated actions and ensure all employees will share the same vision or they can choose to leave the company.

In the book In search of excellence, Peters and Waterman use political scientist James Mac-Gregor Burns idea for “transforming leadership”.

The idea for the transforming leadership is that the leaders connect with the followers. Burns explain these relations as something that is constant and dynamic.

In the leader – followers symbiosis defined by Burns, Peters and Waterman found two important attributes: believability and excitement.

Peters and Waterman conclude that only “simplistic people –  like Watson,  Hewlett, Packard, Kroc, Mars, Olsen, McPherson, Marriot, Procter, Gamble, Johnson – stayed simplistic”, meaning that they were able to see the importance in having their employees  share common value.