Richard Pascale (1938- )
American management expert (pictured right) who was a professor at Stanford Business School in California.
The Art of Japanese Management
(1982), written with Anthony Athos (pictured right below)
Japanese beat American companies because of their superiority in the
“soft” (employee-oriented) S’s:
- superordinate goals (or shared values, which should be significant, durable and
The Japanese and Americans are broadly similar in the “hard” S’s:
All the seven S’s are interdependent and must be kept in appropriate balance by
Intuition is important, because it helps managers deal with ambiguity, uncertainty and
Taoism helps the Japanese deal with these issues by saying you must remove
yourself and your ego from a problem to see more clearly the possibilities of solving it.
- reflect (and wait for the right time to act and seek to compromise).
- use communication that is compassionate, empathetic and not overly vague or blunt.
You can also improve relationships at work through:
- rewards (pay, promotion and recognition).
Key quotes on corporate
Great companies make meaning.
The best firms link their purposes and ways of realizing them to human values as well as to economic measures
like profit and efficiency.
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We must change who we are, as well as what we do.
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Most of the executive skills are
Managing on the Edge
(for more detail see Managing on the
Edge in the Business Books section.)
Successful companies (like Honda) encourage constructive conflict (“creative
This was also called “harmony within discord” by Honda’s co-founder, Takeo Fujisawa, and
- constantly challenging how they do things
- achieving a common purpose among employees
Three things are necessary to do this:
All the 7 S’s (strategy structure, systems, staff, skills, shared values and style of
management) should be consistent and geared towards achieving the same
objective(s) e.g. customer satisfaction.
- fanatical adherence to shared values.
(encouraging autonomy through responsibility given to business units
(encouraging constructive debate through combining different employees and managerial
The danger is that success can easily turn into failure because of arrogance and
So managers must continually create new paradigms (new ways of thinking).
Key quotes on business success and
Nothing fails like success (the book’s first sentence).
Inquiry is the engine of vitality and self-renewal.
Renewal is a never-ending struggle.
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Continual learning is synonymous with self-renewal.
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The ultimate, and largely ignored, task of management is one of creating and breaking paradigms.
Key quote on creativity
Creativity and adaptation are born of tension,
passion and conflict.