Great article here in Fortune about the rules of success in business today.
The premise: Do we continue to follow Jack Welch's rules? You know, the ones that made GE one of the most respected businesses in history, and Welch one of the most admired executives? Are his rules still valid?
The article says as good as Welch was, and still is, the answer is probably not. Business and human interaction today calls for subtleties and ways of thinking and agility that didn't exist in the 70s, 80s and early 90s. Example: Welch preached the value of ranking your employees, keeping the A players and trimming the bottm 10% or so. Quantitative -- make people compete with each other. In today's world, and I've seen this, you can run an organization like that if you want but there's a good chunk of your employees (or potential employee pool) who will just opt out of that model, even if the financial rewards are greater. Fortune says the new rule is to hire passionate people. (By the way, "passionate" is one of today's truly overused words.)
Personally, I think I'm on the cusp between the two and see value in both. Just as you can't be 100% touchy-feely, nor can you be full-bore cutthroat. Neither will get it done for the company, customers, shareholders, employees, etc.
Welch replies here with his rebuttal. Both are worth a read.