Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Management philosophies from Dell

Business Week Online has a great article about Dell that exposes many of the management philosophies of the Dell organization.

Here are some of the philosophies I extracted, but you should read the article for further detail:

1. Leaders must practice transparency to their employees (there's a great book about how to do this called The transparency Edge)

2. Status quo is never good enough -- From the article: When success is achieved, it's greeted with five seconds of praise followed by five hours of postmortem on what could have been done better. Says Michael Dell: "Celebrate for a nanosecond. Then move on."

3. Deal with problems as soon as they arise -- I call it putting out trashcan fires before they become forest fires.

4. Watch every dime and turn it into a quarter; managers should be "walking databases." This is pretty simple, it's how anyone can get wealthy -- watch your costs and make your money work for you (there's a great book about this called The Richest Man in Babylon).

5. Maximize long-term profitability. From the article: That means products need to be priced low enough to induce shoppers to buy, but not so low that they cut unnecessarily into profits.

From the article: It's this combination -- reaching for the heights of perfection while burrowing down into every last data point -- that no rival has been able to imitate.

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