House treated his time at the CPU giant partly as a front row seat on its evolving style of high management.
"I had Andy Grove as my manager for 13 years and during that time he wrote three management books," he said. "We owned a sailboat and took ski trips together and he bounced ideas off staff about the books -- I considered Andy a great guru," he added.
Intel is well known for its culture of so-called constructive confrontation, which puts decisions into heated debate.
"At Intel, it was almost advocated you need to fight more, but that doesn’t work in all cultures -- it doesn’t work in Japan, and it's different in Germany and China," said House. "I prefer what I call straight talk -- constructive confrontation is an American methodology, but straight talk is international," he added.
"The most important process in any organization -- and it's not discussed at a significant level -- is decision making," said House.
He advocates pushing decision making down a corporate hierarchy where detailed knowledge rests. But the process needs to be supplemented by a breadth of vision, something consultants can help provide, he said.
Among his other suggestions:
- Choose a decision maker and abide by him
- People will support decisions they are involved in, but don’t want them coming over the wall
- Hold fewer, shorter, smaller meetings
- Aligning rewards and goals with management-by-objective rewards "is well understood but quite poorly practiced."