"Management, even in small companies, usually get a report on operating performance once a month. The first page of this report always lists the areas in which performance has fallen below budget, in which there is a 'shortfall,' in which there is a 'problem.' At the monthly management meeting, everyone then goes to work on the so-called problems. By the time the meeting adjourns for lunch, the whole morning has been taken up with the discussion of those problems.

"Of course, problems have to be paid attention to, taken seriously, and tackled. But if they are the only thing that is being discussed, opportunities will die of neglect. In businesses that want to create receptivity to entrepreneurship, special care is therefore taken that the opportunities are also attended to. . . .

"In these companies, the operating report has two 'first pages': the traditional one lists the problems; the other one lists all the areas in which performance is better than expected, budgeted, or planned for. . . .

"Typically, in companies that are managed for entrepreneurship, there are therefore two meetings on operating results: one to focus on the problems and one to focus on the opportunities."

-- From Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Practice and Principles, by Peter F. Drucker (Harper & Row, 1985)

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