16 Priceless Michael Hammer Quotes

Dr. Michael Hammer is an American author and engineers, known as one of the founder of the management theory of Business Process Reengineering. Serving as a former professor of computer science at MIT, Hammer is the child of Holocaust survivors and named as one of American’s 25 most influential individuals in the past. Here is a look at some of the best Dr. Michael Hammer quotes to be familiar with.

“A successful career will no longer be about promotion. It will be about mastery.”

“America’s business problem is that it is entering the twenty-first century with companies designed during the nineteenth century to work well in the twentieth.”

“Automating a mess yields an automated mess.”

“Heavy investments in information technology have delivered disappointing results – largely because companies tend to use technology to mechanize old ways of doing business.”

“If managing were simple, why do the majority of businesses fail? If physicians had the same success rate as executives, the medical schools would have been shuttered long ago.”

“Instead of embedding outdated processes in silicon and software, we should obliterate them and start over.”


“It could be the Clint Eastwood effect.”

“Reengineering cannot be entrusted to the semi-competent, the hangers-on with nothing better to do.”

“Reengineering eliminates work, not jobs or people.”

“Reengineering posits a radical new principle: that the design of work must be based not on hierarchical management and the specialization of labor but on end-to-end processes and the creation of value for the customer.”

“The techniques you and your organization have aren’t limited to the computer utility, … ‘If they don’t know what they want, I can’t write the spec.'”

“The transitional concept of management is reaching the end of the road.”

“There is a sense that business is a zero-sum game, that if companies are making a lot of money, it must be coming out of someone else’s pocket.”

“To succeed at re-engineering, you have to be a missionary, a motivator, and a leg breaker.”

“Unless companies change these rules, any superficial re-organizations they perform will be no more effective than dusting the furniture in Pompeii.”

“We have seen this before. There has to be action that follows this, … There is always a caveat or detail or it is conditional upon something else.”

Dr. Michael Hammer takes some time to discuss business process redesign and how this can lead to high performance and profits.

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