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The Ultimate Book of Business Gurus: 100 Thinkers Who Have Really Made a Difference (Ultimate Business Series) Hardcover – 1 Jun 1996

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From the Publisher

ACROSS THE BOARD, September 1998
Stuart Crainer's THE ULTIMATE BOOK OF BUSINESS GURUS, a British entry to the business book field that's packed full of well-presented little histories of every guru any corporate chieftain might ever want to think about... Crainer's book would be my first choice, mostly because of the clarity of presentation and ease of reading...

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Follow that star - the key thoughts of the key thinkers 2 Jan. 2000
By Michael Gering - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Follow that star
The ultimate business guru book, by Stuart Crainer
Management came of age in 1954, with super guru Peter Drucker's book, `the practice of management'. Since then it has made up for lost time, and as Stuart Crainer writes, we have all become managers, whether we manage hospitals, schools, funeral parlours, farms or football teams. Management has become "the art and science of our times, and management thinkers have become its high priests, the guru's".
Despite this, there is still no one ultimate truth. Theories mushroom, each one promising more than its predecessor. The growth is fed by aspirant managers "seeking recipes for success and ideas that can distinguish them from the crowd." Many managers occupy their time "inflicting ill-advised ideas on their organisation."
Yet most organisations are being run the way they were when Drucker began to study them. "We have a lot of new tools" says Drucker", but not very many ideas." The resulting cynicism, we learn, has made Dilbert the best selling business book of all time. As, Dilbert himself puts it, "re-engineering was invented by Dr Jonas Salk as a cure for Quality Programmes".
This is not to write off the guru mega-industry. Nor can it relieve us of the pressure to keep abreast of the latest fashion. As Crainer points out in his introduction, "if your son or daughter discovers you have not heard of the latest pop sensation, they are incredulous. ... Managers behave similarly when they discover a colleague, who knows nothing of the latest addition to the management vocabulary." The only thing worse that slavishly following management theory, is ignoring it completely.
In his ultimate business Guru book, Crainer summarises one hundred (fifty in my soft back edition) of the most significant contributors to the management literature. As befitting a young discipline, he has spread his net appropriately wide.
Thus we find academics such as Michael Porter, Philip Kotler, Edgar Schein and Douglas McGregor whose theories are studied in business school. We find executives such as Henry Ford, Alfred Sloan, Harold Geneen, and Thomas Watson Junior who, through practice and theory, put their stamp firmly onto the corporate world. And we find the consultants Marvin Bower, Tom Peters, Bruce Henderson and James Champy, who produce "the best ideas", while in the corporate equivalent of a research laboratory.
Also appropriate is the wide spectrum of belief. Arch conservatives such as Frederick Taylor and Igor Ansoff are included, along with the liberal left such as Peter Senge, and Frons Trompenaars. We find Charles Handy "who has an unerring tendency to state the obvious", but also with Richard Pascale, who tackles the tension of real life contradictions, head on.
Each guru is introduced with a quote, their breakthrough ideas in key words and their most important book. This is followed by three to five pages discussing their contribution and putting it into the context of current thinking. Crainer presents each guru with an appropriate mix of sympathy and scepticism.
Crainer has interviewed and worked with many of the worlds top business thinkers, and this is evident in his work. He presents enough to enable the reader to hold his own, then shows us where look should we want to delve deeper.
Dilbert, the one great thinker not included, said: "everything I've learnt in my entire life can be boiled down to a dozen bullet points, several of which I have already forgotten". This book presents the dozen bullet points of the other 100 thinkers who 'made management'. Some of these points are indeed worth remembering.
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring Book - Professor M.S.Rao 20 Nov. 2012
By Professor M.S.Rao, International Leadership Expert and Author of 30 Books on Leadership - Published on
Format: Hardcover
It is an inspiring and thought provoking book.

Professor M.S.Rao - Author of 18 leadership books including 21 Success Sutras for Leaders
Founder, MSR Leadership Consultants, India
Included in Marquis Who's Who in the World in 2013
Blog: [...] Where Knowledge is Wealth
Blog: [...] Born for the Students
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