Management? It's Not What You Think!

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9780814416846: Management? It's Not What You Think!

A lot of things have been said about management over the years: that it's an art, not a science; that it's a science, filled with "best practices" and systematic steps anyone can use to get great results; that it's the fuel that powers successful organizations. Only one thing is for sure: there is no one, easy definition of whatever it is that managers do!

Henry Mintzberg, one of today's most respected and controversial thinkers on management, has joined forces with other leading business figures to provide a provocative and unusual mix of writing on management. Management? It's Not What You Think! gets readers thinking as they never have before about the practice of management. Readers will find differing perspectives--and plenty of food for thought--on topics including management terminology and buzz words; myths and maxims; MBAs; management fads; leadership; strategy; and much more.

Presenting articles, book and journal excerpts, letters, web selections, and musings, these pieces will have readers pondering, laughing, and sometimes even crying (for poor old management itself!). This irreverent, highly relevant, and insightful book will inspire managers of all types, spark debate, and renew their passion and interest in doing what they do best... managing.

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From the Inside Flap:

Sit fifty managers down in a room—though why would you want to, right?—and you’ll get fifty different answers as to what management is and what works best. Is it the ability to communicate? Inspire? Rally the troops in times of change? Masterfully oversee projects? Or one of a hundred other things?

More personally, how do you view yourself as a manager? Are you the conductor of a grand orchestra (trying to perform a symphony, but maybe occasionally straying into some jazz?) The President? A guidance counselor? A life coach? Or someone with a tiny little fire extinguisher, constantly running around and... well, you get the idea.

The point is, there are as many answers to what constitutes great—and bad—management as there are managers. One thing is for sure: considering and debating all the different management concepts and theories can be surprisingly fun...not to mention a way to spur on some good ideas about what you can put into practice yourself.

Management? It’s Not What You Think! collects plenty of food for thought, including articles and essays, book and journal excerpts, and even a little poetry, to jump start your managerial juices and get you thinking about your life’s work...the grand journey you were chosen for at birth...the thing it says on your business card...the...well, whatever you do in the office all day. (Probably a mixture of all the above.)

Here you’ll find humorous, informative, inspiring, and thought-provoking pieces of writing that pose eternal questions such as:

· Should managing and leading really be considered as two separate things?

· What longstanding management maxims are in serious need of a makeover?

· Why is PowerPoint evil?

· Where do you draw the line between good strategic thinking and the kind of lip service to strategy planning that’s pure public relations nonsense?

· Do you really need an MBA?

· How do you tell the difference between true wisdom and passing fads?

· What’s the secret behind letting people act on their own ideas while still retaining your managerial authority?

· Is “change management” an oxymoron?

· And much more!

Management? It’s Not What You Think! is the perfect antidote to the constant stream of fashionable management trends, theories, and catchphrases—letting you mull over the insightful answers to what management really is for you.

HENRY MINTZBERG is Cleghorn Professor of Management Studies at McGill University in Montreal and the winner of awards from the most prestigious academic and practitioner institutions in management. He was ranked in the top ten in the Wall Street Journal’s list of influential business thinkers. He is currently working on an electronic pamphlet entitled Rebalancing Society...beyond Smith and Marx, and is a founding partner of CoachingOurselves.com.

BRUCE AHLSTRAND has a D. Phil. from Oxford University and a M.Sc. from the London School of Economics. He is the author of The Quest for Productivity (Cambridge University Press) and co-author of Human Resource Management in the Multi-Divisional Company (Oxford University Press). He is currently a professor of management at Trent University in Ontario, Canada.

JOSEPH LAMPEL is a professor of strategy at Cass Business School, City University London. In addition to publishing widely, he regularly works with top management teams in the area of strategy and business innovation at organizations including John Lewis, EMI Music Group, Rexam, Glaxo­SmithKline, Hagemeyer, Halcrow, and the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris.

From the Back Cover:

So you think you know what management is? Okay, hot shot...pop quiz! Where do you stand on the basics? Do you think it’s an art...or a science? Maybe you think it’s a series of systematic steps and “best practices” anyone can use to get great results. Is it the fuel that powers successful organizations?

Only one thing is sure: there is no one, easy view of whatever it is that managers do! But it sure can be fun—and worthwhile—to consider the possibilities.

Presenting articles, book and journal excerpts, letters, web selections, and musings, Management? It’s Not What You Think! gets you thinking as you never have before about the practice of management. Here you’ll find smart, opinionated pieces on management “waffle words” such as “highly integrated systems,” and “growth platform agenda.” You’ll chew over controversial assertions, such as the idea that strong organizations need realistic amounts of distortion and deception alongside open and honest communication. You’ll find your very own special “buzz-word generator” so that you, too, can write impressive-sounding memos and reports that mean absolutely nothing. And you’ll get to read the kind of long-overdue “Letter to the Board” you’ve always wanted to write yourself.

The book irreverently lets you consider management facts versus folklore, the impact of the Internet, and a good manager’s role within the workplace. From an article on why a company can’t live on “star executive” power alone, to an exploration of what some Himalayan committee’s decisions can tell us about leadership and managing projects, Management? It’s Not What You Think! offers up a stimulating, one-of-a-kind potpourri of thoughts on management topics including myths and maxims; MBAs; management fads; leadership; strategy; and much more.

Featuring selections from sources including the Harvard Business Review, US News and World Report, and Financial Times, as well as words of wisdom from great business thinkers like Peter Drucker, Management? It’s Not What You Think! is an inspiring and thought-provoking collection you’ll flip through again and again, whenever you want to consider the art and craft of management.

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