Getting the most out of business - E. St. Elmo Lewis - PDF ebook

Getting the most out of business

Getting the most out of business

observations of the application of the scientific method to business practice

From the author introduction:

I confess I had little thought of writing a book when the articles from which this book has grown, first took shape. My business life has been cast in a twentieth-century mould. 
As an editor, advertising man, sales manager and business executive, I have always been most interested in the man side of the business. As a manager of men, whether through a direct daily business contact, on the platform, or through the printed word, or in voluntary associations, I have found certain fundamental principles which, when skillfully applied, invariably brought the desired result. 

These principles are not easily formulated, nor are they easy of application in the face of wrong practice so old as to have become petrified in a sacred tradition. But I have seen staid and pompous bankers brought to see them I have seen them reach the White House as political shibboleths of a party personified I have seen a great manufacturer blazon them as a new discovery I have seen other manufacturers meet in solemn conclave to discuss them seriously and wisely principles and methods which ten years ago would have been dismissed as piffle. 

This state of mind, this philosophy, this "way of looking at things," which has been called efficiency, for the want of a better name, is the old, old, but ever new, cold passion of the scientist for truth, as compared with the careless, purposeless strenuosity of the rule of thumb. This "way of looking at things" has come to be of great importance for even as I write there are two ways of- looking-at-things fighting the bloodiest war of all history.

The one is thinking as Heinrich von Treitschke, the German war prophet, taught his people to think, that Germany is waging a holy war for Germany's right to "a place in the sun," based on the fundamental that "the state can do no wrong." Against this is the way-of-looking-at- things of the other school which says, ethics bind states as well as individuals; that things, as they are, should be left to work themselves out in peace. 

Without adopting either side as our philosophy, it is these two "ways of looking at things" which are at war. So in business, the two schools one saying, "Learn by doing and trust in God"; the other saying. "Learn what is best, then do it, and God will be on your side." 

The issue, as the lawyers would say, is joined there. The following pages reflect one line of argument for the offence. I am profoundly conscious of this book's limitations, both as a literary performance and a contribution to its chosen subject. I am persuaded to let it go as it is. I want the average businessman to think about the things which I have written. I think I know the prejudices and narrow viewpoints which have so often served to make such men commercially successful at the expense of social, political and economic usefulness, and I know their class contempt for the man who has never played the game as they have played it. 

I believe, therefore, that the very limitations of craftsmanship in this book may tend to make for it a more tolerant audience. This, then, my dear literary critic and wise reviewer of books, is a plea in confession and avoidance. I confess this is not a book of any importance to you but I avoid the consequences of such defect, by the fact that it may be read with some profit by mere businessmen like myself.

This book has not been written so much to reform management as to suggest a method by which to manage reform. It does not matter whether the businessman likes efficiency as a philosophy, nor how little consolation he may find for his lack of efficiency in the frequent failures of the efficiency engineer, there is no doubt that the entrance of the scientific spirit of the engineer into all the administrative and executive functions of business, has changed the rules of the business game. 

The business will never again be the same comfortable, happy-go-lucky, go-as-you-please occupation it once was. This is a new day, and new philosophy is necessary to read its riddle. In a letter written while this book was in preparation, my friend, Mr Harrington Emerson, reflects this new spirit so well that I quote it here, not so much because of its in- spiring and suggestive usefulness, but that I may have an illuminative text for what I have to say in the following pages.

Some contents:

I Thought as a Business Asset 31
Crooked Thinking
The Value of Thought
As a Man Thinketh
The Moral Risk
The Thin':er as a Seer
The Changing World Problem
Vocational Adjustment as a Solution
Learning to Think Right
The Vocational Study of Mankind
Standards of Thought Value
Experience as a Guide to Thought
Age as Affecting Thought
II Efficiency and Its Applications 40
Efficiency Adjustment
The Efficient Life
Practicality and Dogmatism
A Classification of Mental Types
I The Rule-of-Thumb Man
2 The Practical or Systematic Man
3 The Scientific or Efficient Man Progress Is Change Common Sense and Science Education for Efficiency
III Efficiency and Its Problems 54

book details :
  • Author: Elias St. Elmo Lewis was an American advertising advocate—he wrote and spoke prolifically about the potential of advertising to educate the public. He was inducted into the Advertising Hall of Fame posthumously, in 1951
  • Publication date 1917
  • Company: New York, The Ronald Press Company

  • Download 19.2 MB - PDF ebook

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