Blogs > Book Review: ‘What Management Is: How it works and why it's everyone's business’ - by Joan Magretta
Book Review: ‘What Management Is: How it works and why it's everyone's business’ - by Joan Magretta
Joan Magretta distils the wisdom of a bewildering sea of books and articles into one simple, clear volume, explaining both the logic of successful organizations and how that logic is embodied in practice by management.
‘What Management Is: How it works and why it's everyone's business’, written by leading business editor Joan Magretta, is one of the best books on management. Comprehensively and systematically written in simple language– this book gives a very good insight about management. With different case studies, the author explicitly gives out management basics along with a framework for employing them in a wide variety of situations.
The book is divided into two sections – Basics and Execution. The first section is a wonderful description of the core principles of management and is basically an explanation to the query – Why do people work together and how? The second part of the book focuses on the execution of strategies. It traces the evolution of the various performance measurement tools while also stressing the fact that these tools are only aids to make a judgement.
Key Take-Away from the Book:
‘What Management Is: How it works and why it's everyone's business’ is filled with fascinating concepts and key takeaways. A few of them are listed below:
Management’s real genius is turning complexity and specialization into performance
Simple numbers help us to face reality and make sense of events in ways that our intuition cannot do alone
The greatest obstacle to innovation in organizations is the unwillingness to let go of yesterday’s success and to free up resources that no longer contribute to results.
Most management books preach a single formula or a single fad. However, this one roams freely among the best thoughts and has been written with a practical eye for what matters in real organizations.
Some Great Quotes from The Book:
“Management's first mission is value creation.”
“A consumer sees prices as a measure of value. A manager sees them as power relationships.”
“As manufactured products have become increasingly commodity-like and therefore less valuable to customers, GE has not been alone in discovering that often more money can be made from the services related to a product.”
“From the outside, a business can look like a seemingly mindless game of chance at which any donkey could win, provided only that he be ruthless. But that is of course how any human activity looks to the outsider unless it can be shown to be purposeful, organized, systematic; that is unless it can be presented as the generalized knowledge of a discipline.”
“Companies should teach managers to keep the company's purpose in mind. Ford's purpose was to make cars available to the masses, not to make the most profit per car.”
“Quantifying things helps management make sense of larger happenings. Making sense of numbers is the hard part, not crunching them.”
“Thinking outside the box is a cliché, but it is important.”
Whether you are a fresher or an experienced executive, this book will give you a firm grasp on what it takes to make an organization perform. You can think of this book as everything you wanted to know about management but were afraid to ask. It is a comprehensive exploration of the overall process rather than a traditional how-to-do.
Rarely has anyone so succinctly and engagingly presented the core principles of management in a single book. It is a terrific read for anyone trying to find their way out of managerial issues.