Review of High Output Management

Published on 2018-04-01 by John Collins.

I just finished reading “High Output Management” by Andrew S. Grove, so I thought this was the ideal time to share my thoughts about this.

Andrew S. Grove was the former CEO of Intel Corporation, having worked there for several decades as a senior executive and co-founder. His book captures his no-nonsense direct approach to management techniques, including hiring and performance management, and it is widely-rated as a classic text on people management.

The book was originally published in 1983, and I managed to buy a second-hand copy of the hard cover first edition you see pictured above from a seller on Amazon. Despite the age of the book (and there are some amusing passages about new technologies coming onstream such as “email”), the advice offered by Andrew in this book is timeless as he primarily focuses on people management and relationships, so the content has aged very well and is still applicable for a modern manager.

He offers much practical advice on running interviews, 1-to-1 performance reviews, and indeed many other types of meetings. In addition, I really like the chapter on Task Relevant Maturity (TRM), which is the degree of maturity and relevant experience an employee possesses to complete their tasks, which was a new concept to me. Andrew defines it as such:

"A combination of the degree of their achievement orientation and readiness to take responsibility, as well as their education, training, and experience. Moreover, all this is very specific to the task at hand, and it is entirely possible for a person or a group of people to have a TRM that is high in one job but low in another."

Andrew also discusses Maslow's hierarchy of needs, and how this impacts on employee motivation and salary reviews, and if motivation declines in an otherwise good employee and they decide to quit, Andrew offers advise on what to do in order to get them to stay, i.e. “quit again” with the external firm they have already accepted a job offer from.

Overall this book is indeed worthy of its reputation as a management classic, and should belong on the bookshelf of people managers everywhere.