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The Human Side of Enterprise, Annotated Edition
The Human Side of Enterprise, Annotated Edition
by Douglas Mcgregor
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 16.09

5.0 out of 5 stars Every manager has to read this book at some point in their career, 19 May 2014
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Written before I was born (and I am in my late 40's) and still as fresh and (sadly) relevant today as it was then. It really is scary how uncommon common sense is in the world of management half a century later.

McGregor simply writes common sense in a very easy writing style yet I suspect most managers who will have seen his work quoted many times will have avoided because it is not a popular HBR CEO flick read. However as my title reads every manager has to read this book at some point in their career.

If you manage people; buy it, read it, apply it, enjoy the results!


Rethinking the Fifth Discipline: Learning Within the Unknowable
Rethinking the Fifth Discipline: Learning Within the Unknowable
by Robert Louis Flood
Edition: Paperback
Price: 38.99

5.0 out of 5 stars This book 'out Senge's' Senge, 19 May 2014
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If you have read the Fifth Discipline and have an interest in systems thinking then this is the next book to read.

if you have not read Senge's work then read this book and save yourself the effort.

This is the thinking persons primer on systems thinking and the numerous quoted references have led me to many other systems thinkers.

Excellent book, although not an easy read or for the reader who does not enjoy an academic approach (this is not your typical HBR flick read)


The Sixth Sense: Accelerating Organizational Learning with Scenarios (Business)
The Sixth Sense: Accelerating Organizational Learning with Scenarios (Business)
by Kees van der Heijden
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 26.01

5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books I have read on scenario planning, 19 May 2014
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Be warned this is no fluffy 'how too' guide it is a rigorous introduction to scenario planning for the serious manager.

Although chapters 6 onward could be seen as a sort of how too guide I would recommend all managers read the first five chapters fully first. The first 5 chapters may 'only' include an introduction to scenario planning but the quoted examples of the fall from grace of companies such as Yahoo and Xerox should scare any manager feeling safe in his large corporate box

Highly recommended


Armstrong's Handbook of Performance Management: An Evidence-Based Guide to Delivering High Performance
Armstrong's Handbook of Performance Management: An Evidence-Based Guide to Delivering High Performance
by Michael Armstrong
Edition: Paperback
Price: 26.99

4.0 out of 5 stars great for study but no 'how too' guide, 19 May 2014
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Good academic overview of the theory and history of performance management but not a great deal of use to a manager looking to undertake an actual performance review or measure performance.

To be fair to Armstrong he is not alone in not providing further practical assistance to managers in performance management as the whole area of PM is riddled with psychological interference and I am still amazed that most organisations still dogmatically insist on subjective appraisals.

In summary if you are looking for a book to help you write a university assignment on performance management this is a very useful book otherwise, if a manager, you will find more solace and practical appraisal help in 'thinking fast and slow' by Kahneman (honest)


Scenario Planning in Organizations: How to Create, Use, and Assess Scenarios (Bk Organizational Performance Series)
Scenario Planning in Organizations: How to Create, Use, and Assess Scenarios (Bk Organizational Performance Series)
by Thomas J. Chermack
Edition: Paperback
Price: 27.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A really good how to do guide, 16 May 2014
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This book does exactly what is says on the cover. Following completion of this book (now read twice) I would say I would be comfortable leading an in-house scenario planning exercise.

Following a brief, but more than adequate, introduction to the theory and history of scenario planning the author sets out a clear path for any budding scenario planning consultant to follow

If you are only going to read one book on scenario planning make sure it is this one.


The Management Myth: Why the Experts Keep Getting it Wrong
The Management Myth: Why the Experts Keep Getting it Wrong
by Matthew Stewart
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 18.99

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars As silly as the authors he berates, 16 May 2014
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page after page of uncontrolled waffle is how I would sum up this book.

The criticisms of Taylor, Mayo, Drucker, Peters etc. although not untruthful are stretched out for pages with irrelevant padding

That consultants are broadly useless, well only big businesses seem not to have worked that one out, that consultants are overpaid over rated snake oil sales people is not as big a secret as Matthew seems to make out.

I bought this book looking for a debunk of management theory and instead received the rants of an ex consultant, could have been good but well worth avoiding


Re-Creating the Corporation: A Design of Organizations for the 21st Century
Re-Creating the Corporation: A Design of Organizations for the 21st Century
by Russell L. Ackoff
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 26.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A seminal book that should sit on all managers bookshelf, 15 May 2014
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If you can only read one management book this year make sure it is this one. I have read umpteen books including ones written more recently yet this one trumps them all, some innovative and challenging approaches to managing the organisation which are still ahead of their time today.

Although written by an eminent academic this book is easy to read and produces page after page of thought provoking ideas.

Probably in my top 10 of management books read so far in 2014


Improving Performance: How to Manage the White Space on the Organization Chart
Improving Performance: How to Manage the White Space on the Organization Chart
by Geary A. Rummler
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars A great book on how to improve any business, 15 May 2014
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Quite a bold title but I mean every word. The processes discussed in this book are universal and if applied will enhance the performance of any organisation.

I have discussed the mockery of an organisation chart not included the customers and suppliers or links to other departments for years only to finally find a book that provides the abc of how to build the full organisational chart.

Any business manager should buy this book and keep it on their desk, apply the concept continually and demand all their reports do the same.

Only slightly negative point I have just purchased the 2013 version which is almost identical to this version and just as fantastic, however, if money is tight, and you can purchase a cheap used version of this or the 2nd edition you would be wise to do so


Strategic Modelling and Business Dynamics: A Feedback Systems Approach
Strategic Modelling and Business Dynamics: A Feedback Systems Approach
by John Morecroft
Edition: Paperback
Price: 42.95

5.0 out of 5 stars The giant amongst systems dynamics books, 15 May 2014
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I now know how to use systems dynamics, thank you John Morecroft.

My review could stop at the above statement because in essence that is what I got from this book. Not only is this book a great (although not easy to read) guide to systems dynamics (I have read others and all skim what is covered in this book in depth) it is also a 'how to do' guide as well with some fantastic models to play with.

With over 400 pages of academic text this book requires concentration and attention (as well as many re-reads) however the journey, for anybody who is serious about SD, is well worth it.

I normally pass most of my recommended books to my team for them to digest and implement however this is currently taking pride of place on my desk at the moment as I 'play' with the iThink software.

SD has so many uses to any business manager it is untrue, HR, finance, marketing etc., and I cannot urge any manager enough to invest the money and time in this book, your understanding and knowledge of your business will quadruple.

My only question is why this approach is not more widely available on MBA and other business related masters courses as next to workplace psychology this is the next big idea needed in business management.

I guess you can say I liked it!


Idealized Design: How to Dissolve Tomorrow's Crisis...Today
Idealized Design: How to Dissolve Tomorrow's Crisis...Today
by Russell L. Ackoff
Edition: Hardcover

3.0 out of 5 stars disappointing rehash, 11 May 2014
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Having read Ackoff's recreating the corporation where the concept of idealized design was introduced I was looking forward to discovering more insights and depth in this specifically titled book. How wrong was I!

There is the exact amount of information as I had read previously padded out with chapter after chapter of supporting case studies all saying the same thing! How they managed a drag a chapter out into a book is beyond me.

Save yourself money buy the original and fantastic recreating the corporation, you will learn as much as you will from this book and much more


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