The Peter Principle Revisited: What it means to you and me

by Thain Lin Tay on Sep 20, 2013

The Peter Principle was introduced by Dr Lawrence J Peter in 1969. This presentation revisits the relevancy of this Principle in today’s world and discusses how one can avoid the dangers of being caught at the “point of incompetence”.

Category: Digital Media, Think Tank

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3 Responses to “The Peter Principle Revisited”

  1. jbegan says:

    Always enjoyed this book..and so short you could read it at lunch. Just bought a used copy from Amazon for a friend who was moving into management and still had stars in her eyes. As much as I like the book, I’ve never worked for anyone that really wanted me (or anyone) to do things the way this book describes…It’s really the American way to micromanage…And I’ll just sit and watch the stars fade from my friend’s eyes as she realizes she actually lives in a ‘Pointy Haired Boss” Dilbert world and refill her wine glass…

  2. ilsm says:

    The best advice I read was in one of Peter Drucker’s books: “The job of a manager is to make resources productive”.

    It matters who (and how) defines “productive”.

    Policies that affect managers’ ability to be “productive” matter.

    Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures to deliver production and abilities of those managers responsible to use and improve the TTPs.

    The ‘up or out’ military system applied to managing weapon system deliveries has kept incompetent industries “healthy” for decades.

    GAO offers guidance on decision with better product knowledge, but the “incentives” to use the knowledge to make the broader ecosystem better requires closing (killing bad weapons) politically connected businesses.

    Do incompetent employees breed incompetent organizations or do incompetent organizations breed incompetent employees?

  3. kaleberg says:

    Wow, I remember the Peter Principle. There’s still a lot of truth to the idea, especially if you’ve been looking at the masters of the universe lately.

    If we’re bringing back 1960s business advice books, how about Up the Organization. I always liked the idea of being the guy hired to yell BS. It was written by the guy who turned around Avis, Robert Townsend. For the Europeans, consider Servan-Schreber’s American Challenge, and try to figure out how his good ideas got turned into a lead weight sinking the continent.