Author: Peter F. Drucker
Publisher: Self-improvement Publishing
Reviewer: Goke Ilesanmi
The aim of any owner is to make profit and sustain his or her business. But mastering the fundamentals of business success is critical to achieving the desired results in business. This is especially so because business is both an art and a science. That is, it is a matter of practical experience, calculation, foresight and fortune. These are the fundamentals we will be learning in this book entitled “How to Manage Your Business and Get Results” written by Peter F. Drucker.
Drucker is a business management consultant of repute who is concerned with the economic tasks that any business needs to perform to be able to achieve enviable results. He says this book attempts to organise these tasks so that executives can properly organise them so systematically, understandably and reasonably with the possibility of accomplishing tangible results. Drucker asserts that the book has a thesis and is practical.
The book is segmented into three parts of 14 chapters. Part one is eclectically christened “Understanding the business” and contains the first eight chapters. Chapter one is entitled “Business realities”. According to him here, it is a universal complaint that executives give neither sufficient thought to the future. Drucker adds that every executive voices it when he or she talks about his or her own working day and when he or she talks or writes to his or her associates.
Chapter two is based on the subject matter of the result areas. Here, Drucker says the basic business analysis starts with an examination of the business as it is now and the business as it has been bequeathed to us by indecisions, actions and results of the past. He explains that we need to see the hard skeleton, the major stuff that is the economic structure. According to him, we need to see the relationship and interactions of resources and results of efforts and achievements of revenues and costs.
Chapter three examines the concept of revenues, resources and prospects. Here, Drucker says every executive today is inundated with figures, and more and more data pour out daily. He educates that many businesses will ask that their financial analyses be based on cost accounting. The author explains that the answer is that it is misuse of cost accounting to derive from it, figures for a particular product’s share of total business costs. Drucker educates that cost accounting has to find a place for every penny spent, and where the cost accountant cannot document what costs are directly incurred in making this or that product, he or she must therefore allocate.
In chapters four to eight, the author examines concepts such as how we are doing; cost centres and cost structure; the customer as the business; knowledge as the business; and the business being ours.
Part two is generically entitled “Focus on opportunity” and covers three chapters, that is, chapters nine to 11. Chapter nine has the thematic focus of building on strength. Here, Drucker says analysis of the entire business and its basic economics always shows it to be in worse disrepair than anyone expected. He explains that the products everyone boasts of turn out to be yesterday’s breadwinners or investments in ego. Drucker stresses that activities which no one paid much attention to later turn out to be cost centres and so expensive as to endanger the competitive position of the company.
In chapters 10 and 11, the author X-rays the concepts of finding business potential and making the future today.
Part three is based on the general subject matter of a programme for performance and contains three chapters, covering chapters twelve to fourteen. Chapter 12 is tagged “The key decisions”. Drucker educates here that decisions are made and actions are taken at every step in the analysis of a business and of its economic dimensions. He says insights are “bled off” and converted into tasks and work assignments and adds that at every step of the analysis there should be measurable results.
In chapters 13 and 14, Drucker beams his analytical searchlight on the concepts of business strategies and building economic performance into a business.
If there is one thing that makes this book intellectually solid, it is the depth and creativity of its contents. By segmenting the text into three parts of 14 chapters, Drucker is able to make the book easy to read and study. The number of chapters, that is, 14, creates some poetic allusion as it reminds one of the 14-line poem called “Sonnet”.
The language of the book is still contextually simple despite the technicality of the subject matter. What’s more, the typography (that is, the arrangement, style and appearance of words) employed in the design of the title of the book on the outer front cover where keywords such as “Manage”, “Business” and “Results” are put in capital letters to convey their conceptual importance while other less important words are in small letters is visually communicative and conceptually creative.
There is also application of separate colours to the keywords and less important words to show interface between visual distinction and conceptual uniqueness. Also, the book looks like a typical essay in that it has the introduction, body and conclusion. Another of the achievements of Drucker in this book is the combination of specific economic analyses with enviable knowledge of entrepreneurship or business success.
However, one of the errors noticed in the book is “Acknowledgement” instead of “Acknowledgements”. On page 28, omission of a comma immediately before the word “Figures” from the expression “…it is misuse of cost accounting to derive from it figures for a particular product’s share of total business costs” seems to make the expression ambiguous”. It is supposed to read “…it is misuse of cost accounting to derive from it, figures for a particular product’s share of total business costs”. Also, the layout of the book needs to be improved upon to make it (more) eye-friendly.
In a nutshell, this text is a compendium of effective business management strategies. It is a must-read for those who are thirty for long-lasting business success.
GOKE ILESANMI (FIIM, FIMC, CMC), CEO of Gokmar Communication Consulting, is an International Platinum Columnist, Professional Public Speaker, Career Mgt Coach and Certified Mgt Consultant. He is also a Book Reviewer, Biographer and Editorial Consultant.
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