Harvard Business School Quotes Our Thinking On Deep Thinking
Early last June we noted Harvard Business School’s Working Knowledge discussion about whether corporate managers think deeply any more, and if not, why not. Inspired by GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt’s public declaration that he was protecting deep thinking at GE, and the Zaltman’s latest book, Marketing Metaphoria, Baker Foundation Professor, Emeritus James Heskett posed the question of whether deep thinking is disappearing in corporate America. And if so, why?
We’re pleased to note that Jim Heskett chose to quote Lorre Zuppan in his summing up. If deep thinking were truly valued at GE, would Mr. Immelt need to declare to his devout protection of it to his managers or the world at large? We declare our priorities more loudly by our actions than by our words. If Mr. Immelt has effectively communicated the importance of deep thinking to GE’s future, why must he also announce his intent to fiercely protect it from his own managers?
That most of the world’s acknoledged best-run companies have this weakness provides hope for us all. No company gets everything right, and you don’t need to either. In business as in life, it’s the art of conciously focusing on what matters most that creates our success. As management guru Peter Drucker noted, it is typically at most about 10% of our activities that drive 90% of our results.
Our best wishes to Mr. Immelt in his effort to restore the respect and value for deep thinking that once existed. We hope that in this aspect he will also be leading the next hot trend. We’ll all be better for it.