Compromises and Grids



We can read this book at many levels.

effective executive 1

I decided to discuss this with a professional, in depth- regarding the compromises we make in our work


In the book Peter Drucker writes about his first big consulting assignment in 1944, a study of the management structure and management policies of the General Motors Corporation, Alfred P Sloan , Jr, who was then chairman and chief executive officer of the company called him to his office at the start of his study.

Sloan’s memoir, My Years with General Motors,[3] written in the 1950s but withheld from publication until an updated version was finally released in 1964,[4] exemplified Sloan’s vision of the professional manager and the carefully engineered corporate structure in which he worked. It is considered one of the seminal texts in the field of modern management education, although the state of the art in management science has grown greatly in the half century since
“I shall not tell you , what to study, what to write, or what conclusions to come to. This is your task. My only instruction to you is to put down what you think is  right as you see it. Don’t you worry about our reaction. Don’t you worry about whether we will like this or dislike that. And don’t you, above all, concern yourself with the compromises that might be needed to make your recommendations acceptable. There is not one executive in this company who does not know how to make every single conceivable compromise without any help from you. But he can’t make the right compromise unless you first tell him what ‘right’  is.”

The executive thinking through a decision might put this in front of himself in neon lights.


The above statement made us look at the different structures in our organization, right from the parking space, reception to appointment schedules, pharmacy and materials –consumables.

Who is making these? Who is subverting? Who is turning a blind eye? Who is encouraging?

While all the details cannot be written openly, suffice it to say, that the discussion was animated and educative.

We had to revise the definition of Policy and Administration, and see how interference without accountability compromises morale.


Policy- A course or principle of action adopted or proposed by an organization or individual

Administration.- The process or activity of day-to-day running of a business, organization.




My colleague gave me a good grilling on Equipments- their state of dysfunction- the issues of maintenance contracts not being honored leading to breakdown, and then redundancy.

I agreed with him, though added that the Civil War makes engineers wary of coming here.

“You cannot hide behind that excuse, you have to take some blame” my colleague grilled me.

I smiled in agreement. One cannot take all credit if things go well, and if things do not, put the blame on outside factors.

To be fair (to myself-and our department) we did manage to successfully install three new equipments and test them on the ground in war torn conditions.


To make things less emotional, and more productive, we came up with a 30 point grid to

Analyze situations-structures

Grid 1- 6 questions

  1. What should go?
  2. What should remain?
  3. What is missing?
  4. What is your 5 year plan?
  5. Who will implement this plan?
  6. How will you compensate your team?

Grid 2- 5 questions

  1. Plan……….the steps of your work-project
  2. Organize..the team
  3. Integrate..make them part of the project and also integrate them               Whom they will interact, but not be directly responsible to  with other departments (like finance, biomedical engineering, other medical professional specialties)
  4. Motivate…the team
  5. Measure…results- What worked, what did not work… re-plan

FOLLOW-UP…a note from our organizational experience 2012

The above grid has been applied in different organizational settings with success and some creative solutions..including dismissal of a “New” Manager whom the Board had appointed and used to just boss around all departments saying. “Everything is in a mess”

When the Board was provided this Grid (by a concerned professional) , and the “Everything-is-in-a-mess-New Bossy Manager”  was made to try and answer under the headings of questions given above…he was dismissed in a week.

(Management discussions of Tripoli Reading Group- year end 2015-12-18

Let  us think Through the structures and Situations, people and departments-

and have a better dynamics in our work)




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