Random musings, observations, squeaks, whimpers and perhaps the ocassional rant. About what, I'm not sure.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

More Comments Halley...

Finding Halley's Comment proved to me (again) how small the world really is. While I was poking around in the archives, I saw Halley Suitt used to work for/with Harvard Business School Press, and that she helped put on an HBSP conference called "Next Generation Growth" in Cupertino, CA. Being the least-smart guy at that conference didn't keep me from asking what Clayton Christenson and Andy Grove thought was a pretty interesting question on management vs. leadership. If you don't follow the Tech business, Christenson wrote a few books (The Innovator's Dilemma, The Innovator's Solution, Seeing What's Next). If you're not living in the modern world, Grove is a co-founder and the Chairman of Intel, and wrote a couple of books (Swimming Across, Only the Paranoid Survive, High Output Management), They talked about the subject for 5 minutes or so.

Guess HBSP folks thought it was interesting, too, since they transcribed the conversation in the Harvard Management Update that included the conference. I'll have to dig up a copy.

The core of the question was "Has American business - specifically Tech - swung the pendulum too far toward management and the 'hire an MBA or ten to run the company' mentality and away from valuing leadership, or more specifically a healthy balance between management and leadership". Christensen agreed - Grove somewhat disagreed. It was fun.

I loved the conference - lots of great ideas - and loved better that funding the fee came from Professional Development dollars at my former software company. Getting a budget for attending forums like that one was a big triumph and even bigger milestone at the little (as yet unnamed) company, which was as conservative as any I've seen and more resistant to change than many (it felt like more than ANY), and had never invested in something like developing its execs (the company was only 15 years old at the time, so they'd not gotten around to it yet - grin).


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