Percy Barnevik

Sweden
Born on 13 Feb 1941
Executive

Quotes

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Everything changes when there is a real customer yelling at you from the other end of the phone.

Quoted in Liberation Management (Tom Peters; 1992)
To downsize effectively you have to have empathy with the people who are losing their jobs... What you say to them has a lot to do with the attitude of the survivors: whether they see the company as a money-machine or keep their respect for it.

Interview, Company Man (1995)
I believe you can go into any traditionally centralized corporation and cut its headquarters staff by 90 percent in one year.

Harvard Business Review (1991)
You must avoid the investigation trap you can't postpone tough decisions by studying them to death.

Harvard Business Review (1991)
The real challenge is creating an entrepreneurial atmosphere in what can easily amount to a big bureaucratic company.

Quoted in In Search of European Excellence (1997)
You shouldn't mix up the long-term business opportunities with the occasional shoot-out. These things will happen.

Fortune (1993)
In business, today the person at the top is seen as an integral part of the company's image, which is encouraged by the mass media. Much of my work is communicating internally and externally.

Interview, Company Man (1995)
Globalisation is a long-lasting competitive advantage. Building a global company is not so easy to copy.

Financial Times (London) (1997)
Bosses tend to attract clusters of people from their own nationality around them.

Financial Times (London) (1997)
You can't permit a honeymoon of small changes over a year or two. A long series of small changes just prolongs the pain.

Harvard Business Review (1991)
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On Anger: "For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind."
Essays
On Destiny: "Our destiny exercises its influence over us even when, as yet, we have not learned its nature: it is our future that lays down the law of our today."
Human, All Too Human
On Friendship: "A crowd is not company; and faces are but a gallery of pictures; and talk but a tinkling cymbal, where there is no love."
Essays