Develop English Communication Ability
                                  Hidemori Shimura
Drucker's Managng for Results (226pages Page3-Page228)


1 Business Realities
That executives give neither sufficient time nor sufficient thought
to the future is a universal complaint. Every executive voices it
when he talks about his own working day and when he talks or
writes to his associates. It is a recurrent theme in the articles
and in the books on management.

It is a valid complaint. Executives should spend more time and
thought on the future of their business. They also should spend
more time and thought on a good many other things, their social
and community responsibilities for instance. Both they and their
businesses pay a stiff penalty for these neglects. And yet, to
complain that executives spend so little time on the work of tomorrow
is futile. The neglect of the future is only a symptom; the executive
slights tomorrow because he cannot get ahead of today. That too
is a symptom. The real disease is the absence of any foundation
of knowledge and system for tackling the economic tasks in business.

Today's job takes all the executive's time, as a rule; yet it is
seldom done well. Few managers are greatly impressed with their
own performance in the immediate tasks. They feel themselves
caught in a "rat race," and managed by whatever the mailboy
dumps into their "in" tray. They know that crash programs
which attempt to "solve" this or that particular "urgent" problem
rarely achieve right and lasting results. And yet, they rush
from one crash program to the next.
Worse still, they known that the same problems recur again
and again, no matter how many times they are "solved."

Before an executive can think of tackling the future, he must
be able therefore to dispose of the challenges of today in less time
and with greater impact and permanence. For this he needs a systematic approach to today's job.

There are three different dimensions to the economic task:
The present business must be made effective;
its potential must be identified and realized;
it must be made into a different business for a different future.

Each task requires a distinct approach.
Each asks different questions.
Each comes out with different conclusions.

Yet they are inseparable.
All three have to be done at the same time: today.

All three have to be carried out with the same organization,
the same resources of men, knowledge, and money, and
in the same entrepreneurial process.

The future is not going to be made tomorrow;
it is being made today, and largely by the decisions and
actions taken with respect to the tasks of today.

Conversely, what is being done to bring about the future directly affects the present. The tasks overlap. They require one unified strategy. Otherwise, they cannot really get done at all.

To tackle any one of these jobs, let alone all three together,
requires an understanding of the true realities of the business
as an economic system, of its capacity for economic performance, and of the relationship between available resources and possible results.

Otherwise, there is no alternative to the "rat race."
This understanding never comes ready-made;
it has to be developed separately for each business.

Yet the assumptions and expectations that underlie it
are largely common. Businesses are different,
but business is much the same, regardless of size and structure,
of products, technology and markets, of culture and managerial
competence. There is a common business reality.

There are actually two sets of generalizations that apply to
most businesses most of the time: one with respect to the results
and resources of a business, one with respect to its efforts.

Together they lead to a number of conclusions regarding
the nature and direction of the entrepreneurial job.

Most of these assumptions will sound plausible, perhaps evenfamiliar,
to most businessmen, but few businessmen ever pull them together
into a coherent whole.

Few draw action conclusions from them, no matter how much each individual statement agrees with their experience and knowledge.

As a result, few executives base their actions on these,
their own assumptions and expectations.

Neither results nor resources exist inside the business.
Both exist outside. There are no profit centers within the business;
there are only cost centers.

The only thing one can say with certainty about any business activity,
whether engineering or selling, manufacturing or accounting, is that
it consumes efforts and thereby incurs costs.
Whether it contributes to results remains to be seen.

Results depend not on anybody within the business
nor on anything within the control of the business.
They depend on somebody outside--the customer in a market economy,
the political authorities in a controlled economy.

It is always somebody outside who decides
whether the efforts of a business become economic results
or whether they become so much waste and scrap.

The same is true of the one
and only distinct resource of any business: knowledge.

Other resources, money or physical equipment, for instance,
do not confer any distinction.
What does make a business distinct
and what is its peculiar resource
is its ability to use knowledge of all kinds--
from scientific and technical knowledge
to social, economic, and managerial knowledge.

It is only in respect to knowledge
that a business can be distinct,
can therefore produce something that has a value in the market place.

Yet knowledge is not a business resource.
It is a universal social resource.
It cannot be kept a secret for any length of time.

"What one man has done, another man can always do again"
is old and profound wisdom.

The one decisive resource of business,
therefore, is as much outside of the business as are business results.

Indeed, business can be defined as a process
that converts an outside resource, namely knowledge,
into outside results, namely economic values.

Results are obtained by exploiting opportunities, not by solving problems.
All one can hope to get by solving a problem is to restore normality.
All one can hope, at best, is to eliminate

(to be continued)