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Simply Managing: What Managers Do--And Can Do Betterby Henry Mintzberg
Synopses & Reviews
In Managing, Mintzberg calls attention to numerous popular but false views about the nature of managerial work and provides the best information yet published on what managers do and how they do it. He analyzes models, characteristics, and approaches to managing. He examines commonalities and differences in managing in various contexts, including business, government, health care, and social services. By shadowing 29 managers through a day in their lives, he reveals how managing is affected by many factors — including national and industry cultures, organizational differences, level of the manager in the organization, and personal styles — and examines the various strategies that managers adopt to deal with these factors.
Simply Managing is the concentrated version of this book and comes in at a hundred pages shorter than the original. In Simply Managing Henry presents the meat of his arguments and distills the lessons learned in his research. Think of it as an expanded executive summary of the book, but one written by the author himself which maintains the integrity and feel of the original. There is one new section ,, written specifically for this edition where Mintzberg explains how to deal with technological demands and how managers use, misuse, and can make the best use of digital devices and other information technology.
In 2009, Henry Mintzbergs Managing was named one of the best books of the year by strategy+business and Library Journal magazines, the number two business book of the year by the Toronto Globe and Mail, one of the top ten academic titles by Choice magazine, and the management book of the year in a competition organized by the Chartered Management Institute in association with the British Library.
So this is clearly a book every manager should read. But one of the issues Mintzberg addresses is the frenetic pace and relentless pressures of the job—most managers hardly have time to think. So Mintzberg has done some revising and some updating and has distilled the essence of his original 320-page book into a lean, action-oriented 216 pages.
The core of the book remains the same: Mintzbergs observations of twenty-nine different managers, from business, government, and nonprofits, working in diverse settings ranging from a refugee camp to a symphony orchestra. What he saw led him to develop a new model of management, one firmly grounded in his conclusion that it is not a profession or a science. “It is a practice,” he writes, “learned primarily through experience and rooted in context.”
But context cannot be seen in the usual way. Factors such as national culture, level in a hierarchy, and even personal style turn out to have a far different influence—sometimes much less—than we have traditionally thought. Mintzberg also offers a compelling discussion of some of the inescapable conundrums of managing. How can you get in deep when there is so much pressure to get it done? How can you manage it when you cant reliably measure it? How do you balance the need for change with the need for continuity?
He concludes with a provocative look at what being an effective manager really means, which he describes as “engaging management.” This is the most authoritative and revealing book yet written about what managers do, how they do it, and how they can have the greatest impact.
The Essence of Managing
Henry Mintzberg appreciates that managers are busy people. So he has taken his classic book Managing, done some updating, and distilled its essence into a lean 176 pages of text.
The essence of the book remains the same: what Mintzberg learned from observing twenty-nine managers in settings ranging from a refugee camp to a symphony orchestra. Simply Managing considers the intense dynamics of this job as well as its inescapable conundrums, for example:
• How is anyone supposed to think, let alone think ahead, in this frenetic job?
• Are leaders really more important than managers?
• Where has all the judgment gone?
• Is email destroying management practice?
• How can managers connect when their job disconnects them from what they are managing?
If you read only one book about managing, this should be it!
About the Author
Henry lives in Montreal, Canada.
Table of Contents
1. Managing beyond the Myths
2. Managing Relentlessly
The characteristics of managerial work
3. Managing through Information, with People, for Action
A model of managing
4. Managing Every Which Way
The untold varieties of managing
5. Managing on Tightropes
The inescapable conundrums of managing
6. Managing Effectively
Getting to the essence of managing
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