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Harold Geneen: Data-driven Charismatic Organization

Harold Geneen was a successful business leader that transformed an ailing business, ITT, into a Data-driven Charismatic Organization. Under his leadership it grew and grew.

Watching this video is worth 2 Management Courses CPD Points*.
(See below for more details)

The Nature of Organizations
This video is part of course module number 6.1.5
Program 6: Managing within Organizations
Course 1: The Nature of Organizations
Section 5: Masters of Organizations

Other videos in this section include:
🎬 Max Weber: The Father of Organizational Theory https://youtu.be/dAsiS_ignIQ
🎬 Chester Barnard: Organizations as Networks of People https://youtu.be/UVi5iI6N8UM
🎬 Edgar Schein: The Master of Organizational Culture https://youtu.be/TMqTN4fGb1k
🎬 Charles Handy: Philosopher of Organizations https://youtu.be/kCkXc-hPsbg
🎬 Kim Cameron: Positive Organizational Scholarship https://youtu.be/N2QxvQ5t2Lo


Harold B Geneen was not a theorist of organizations. Rather he was an instinctive manager and the ultimate practitioner of Drucker’s Management by Objectives.

Geneen took Weber’s concept of an organization as a machine and made it work. Under Geneen, the machine’s oil was a constant flow of data and information. Its controlling parts were the senior managers, whom the personnel department monitored with forensic diligence. Planning, analysis, and control were at the forefront of the way the ITT organization operated.

Harold Geneen also grew the organization through a series of increasingly ambitious acquisitions. By 1970, ITT consisted of over 400 separate companies. This was the acme of the organization as an ecosystem. But it was one that was under a tight central control. ITT became the epitome of a rigidly hierarchical bureaucracy.

Of course, Geneen was also aware that much business got done outside of the formal hierarchy:

‘Every company has two organizational structures. The formal one is written in the charts; the other is the everyday relationships of the men and women in the organization.’

But, when Geneen stepped down in 1979, the house of cards rapidly collapsed. For all its apparent rational-legal bureaucratic appearance, ITT had been entirely dependent on the energy and drive of its leading executive. There is more than one form of charismatic leadership. And Geneen remorseless drive and analytical rigor were hard to replicate. Few executives could keep up with him, much less emulate his workaholic pressure.


Harold Geneen led via two primary principles:
– driving his senior team hard, and
– the primacy of data
To what extent do you see each of these principles at work in your organization? (2 MC CPD Points)

Free Resources
– CPD Tools – https://gum.co/MC-CPD
Paid resources
– Management Courses Onboarding Kit – https://gum.co/MC-ObK ($3)


Harold Geneen: Managing – https://geni.us/I2DFx
Harold Geneen: Synergy and Other Lies – https://geni.us/EcIGhu


– Understanding Organizations https://geni.us/oB774Do
– Images of Organization https://geni.us/hrOemEs
– Inside Organizations: 21 Ideas for Managers https://geni.us/YwwL

Managers Need a Basic set of kit to do your job well. Here are my top recommendations: https://kit.co/MikeClayton/manager-s-work-kit (the links are affiliated)

Management Courses Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Points
You can record your Management Courses CPD points on our free, downloadable CPD record log.
Download it at: https://gum.co/MC-CPD

Each video has two levels of MC CPD points. For this video:
– If you simply watched the video, record 2 MC CPD points
– If you also carried out all of the recommended exercises, score a total of 4 MC CPD points

Links to our book recommendations are affiliated through Amazon

#OrganizationalCulture #ManagementCourses #HaroldGeneen


A Thorough Introduction to Organizational Culture [Compilation]
Introduction to Organizations: A Compilation of our Introductory Videos
What is Globalization?
Kim Cameron: Positive Organizational Scholarship
Charles Handy: Philosopher of Organizations
Edgar Schein: The Master of Organizational Culture
Chester Barnard: Organizations as Networks of People
Max Weber: The Father of Organizational Theory
How we Work: Geert Hofstede’s 6 Cross-Organization Cultural Dimensions
National Culture within an Organization: Geert Hofstede’s 6 Cultural Dimensions
Quinn and Cameron: Competing Values Model of Organizational Culture
Edgar Schein’s 3 Levels of Organizational Culture
Cultural Web: Johnson & Scholes on Where Culture Originates
Introduction to Organizational Culture
Empowerment: The Organization Giving up its Power
French and Raven: Social Power Bases in Organizations
Power in Organizations: The Power of Governance
Robin Fincham: Three Levels of Organizational Power
Amitai Etzioni: How Organizations Secure Compliance
Organizational Power: What is Power?
Virtual Organizations
Brian Robertson’s Holacracy Organizational Model
The Agile Organization
Adhocracy Organizational Model
Peter Senge’s Learning Organization
The Matrix Organization Model
Charles Handy’s Triple-I Company
Charles Handy’s Federal Organization Model
Charles Handy’s Shamrock Organization
Charles Handy’s Gods of Management
Henry Mintzberg’s 4 plus 2 Organizational Types
Edgar Schein’s Two Organizational Cultures
Why do we need Organizations? Structure vs Agility
The Features of Organizations: What an Organization Needs
Organizations as Processes: Understanding an Organization as a Set of Processes
Organizations as Structures: Understanding an Organization as a Structure
Morgan’s 8 Organizational Metaphors: An Organization is Like a…
What is an Organization? – the Nature of Organizations

Mike Clayton

About Mike Clayton 

Dr Mike Clayton is a (former) Project Manager and now a management educator. Having trained thousands of people at live workshops, seminars, and conferences, he now delivers training mainly via video. He has 14 books with international publishers and runs two successful YouTube channels. He is also the founder of OnlinePMCourses.com

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