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Clever: Leading Your Smartest, Most Creative People Hardcover – 1 Aug 2009


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business School Press (1 Aug. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1422122964
  • ISBN-13: 978-1422122969
  • Product Dimensions: 23.8 x 16.2 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 375,591 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

A terrific new book... these are the people who make the difference between businesses just getting by and excelling. --Financial Times, September 3, 2009

Very smart people add immense value, but can be hard to handle. Here's how to get the best from them.
--Management Today, September 1, 2009

The authors' analysis of 'clevers' and their importance to the knowledge economy is spot on. --People Management, October 1, 2009

Nurture your smartest leaders. They will reward you by leading your business out of the recession. --Coaching At Work, September 1, 2009

'Clever' by Goffee and Jones is longlisted for the FT/Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award 2009. --Financial Times, August 10, 2009

Leading clever people can be... frankly, scary. Goffee and Jones have come up with a guide for managers.
--Sunday Times, September 20, 20009

The book's insights from professionals are valuable and revealing... strong on positives and fascinating analysis. Very clever, in fact.
--Business Life, November 1, 2009

If managers want to make the most of their gifted employees they must allow them to get on with it! --The Independent, November 10, 2009

This fascinating book, written by two highly acclaimed academics ...[offers] insight into nurturing gifted employees. --Times Higher Education Supplement, January 28, 2010

Potent insights drawn from extensive research... Leading clever people effectively is the key to your organization's sustained success.
--CSA World, 01 November 2009

This is a provocative and practical book which redefines what it takes to lead your best and brightest people effectively.
--Business Executive, February 1 2010

About the Author

Rob Goffee is Professor of Organizational Behavior at London Business School, where he teaches in the world-renowned Senior Executive Programme.

Gareth Jones is a Fellow of the Centre for Management Development at London Business School and a visiting professor at INSEAD, the international business school in Fontainebleau, France.


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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Apollo 11 VINE VOICE on 8 July 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
These kind of books - along with self-help manuals - never give you the answers. They just let you believe that they will, which is why people buy them (that, plus zealous publishers over-egg the cover blurb). Clever is no different. What it will do though, is give you food for thought if you manage creatives.

As with self-help manuals, you probably already have the answers within you, you just need someone to help focus your thoughts in the right place. Which is what Clever does - if not in spades, then at least enough to get you digging in the right spots. Some of its observations may seem obvious (as some of the reviews here have suggested), but I must admit that it made me stop and think a few times - and it has opened my eyes to the process of running a department with smart, creative people in it. I'd say I've learnt something from it, and it's made me join dots that I may not (or may never) have done on my own.

There is some amusement to be had as you align some of the case-studies with people you know. Equally so, you may see yourself in here, too, and recognise some of your less appealing moods and/or behaviours. If, however, you're looking for straight answers, Clever won't give them to you. It will only get you thinking. The rest is down to you. On the down side, the book is a bit repetitive, and it does make not-so-much stretch across quite a few pages.

If you're curious you could do worse. Just don't expect this book (or any other) to solve all of your management problems for you.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Miss M. L. English VINE VOICE on 18 Oct. 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I think this book will benefit managers of business who need to get into the 21st century. These are concepts that those who live or know 'Clevers' will understand already. The book read well and moved at a good pace. The ideas were adequate but I did struggle to finish it, and it's not very long...
Maybe it's because I don't work in industry. If you want to brush-up on American concepts or even the growing trend here in the UK, then this will give you a few insights. I was worried that it would quickly become out-of-date as some of the companied mentioned are already suffering from the credit-crunch and no amount of 'Clevers' will delay/stop/change that.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Michael Heron TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 2 July 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book falls generally into the category of things I am professionally interested in, and while it does a generally good job of talking about the motivations and desires of clever, creative people, it doesn't actually live up to the promise of the helping people to manage them. The case studies are too diverse, too contradictory, and too specific to their particular contexts to offer a lot in the way of general guidance.

Where the book does work well is as an introductory psychological primer as to what makes the smarter, more creative people in an organisation tick. The first two parts of the book are much stronger than the last part, and in a book this brief (a mere 170ish pages), that's a large proportion of weaker material. Coupled to this is that the book is sparsely sourced, and I have my doubts as to some of the claims made throughout considering they are never substantiated.

The insights quoted from numerous people across numerous fields are very interesting, but it is ultimately difficult to extract any kind of universal truth. I guess in the end the message is 'you know, it varies from place to place how best to do this'. Alas, I knew that already.

Still, it's well worth picking up if you find the premise interesting.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Martin Turner HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 27 Jun. 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Clever is a Harvard Business book which sets out to understand how clever people function in business, and how managers can lead them in a way which is fulfilling for both sides, and which makes the most of their potential. The crucial chapter is chapter 1, which is useful if you are short on time, which is about understanding clever people. The rest elegantly develops this.

If you've ever been trapped as a clever person under a bureaucratic manager, or as a manager trying to lead an intractable, brittle but brilliant employee, this book is a breath of fresh air.

I love Dilbert, but I also find it quite depressing: a vision of a world in which the clever are led by the managerially astute but otherwise incompetent. It's so sadly true: a corollary of The Peter Principle, that people are promoted to the position of their incompetence. In the Dilbert world, the more the pointy-haired boss goes on courses to help him become a better manager, the more he behaves in a transparently self-serving and idiotic fashion.

Clever -- leading your smartest, most creative people --, to give the book its full title, is primarily about understanding clever people, recognising their unique importance to the company, and finding ways to maximise that rather than trying (as many managers do) to suppress it. It begins with the recognition that a small group of staff make a huge impact on the bottom line, but that those staff are often the most disruptive and uncooperative.

Essentially, the clever people the book describes are not lone-wolf mavericks.
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