When, in the late 1940’s, Peter Drucker recommended to
Ralph Cordiner that he decentralize The General Eclectic Company they
realized that they would need 100+ General Managers.
How to find them?
Several Psychological testing firms were retained to assist
in this effort. The result was a list of "good" traits for a GM
on one consultant’s list were "bad" traits on another’s
As a result it was decided to study the Company’s own
successful managers. What they found was a wide range of successful
managers from "bull in the china shop"
types to effete "Ivy League" types.
They concluded that management was a skill – and as such
could be taught!
A 13 week course, called PROFESSIONAL BUSINESS
MANAGEMENT, was developed and a school was established at Crotonville,
NY to teach management skills to General and Section Managers. (When GM’s
complained that they couldn’t possibly leave their businesses for 13
weeks – they were told that that was precisely why they needed the
Subsequently, a condensed version (one night a week for
thirteen weeks) was prepared to be taught at the local level to
sub-section and unit managers.
I taught three semesters of this condensed version to
managers of the GE Computer Department in Phoenix, AZ.
The mantra was POIM – Plan, Organize, Implement and