WHAT MANAGEMENT IS --- HOW IT WORKS AND WHY IT'S EVERYONE'S BUSINESS
by Joan Magretta with Nan Stone. The Free Press, 2002
INTRODUCTION --- The universal "discipline of management" is the accumulating body of thought and practice that makes organizations work! (p1-16)
The human ability to MANAGE, to organize purposefully, is as characteristic of the species --- and probably as old --- as the opposable thumb!
PART 1 --- DESIGN --- why people work together and how (p17-42)
The management book is written for everyone since all of us live in a world of management's making. Our well-being is dependent upon the performance of management!
Rightly understood, management is a "liberal art" since it draws freely from all the disciplines that can help you make sense of your self and your world. That is ultimately why it is work that is worth doing --- and why it is so hard to do really well.
This book offers a concise synthesis of important ideas and practices --- for example, value creation, business models, competitive strategies, the 80-20 rule, performance metrics, and decision analysis.
 A discipline often misunderstood (p4-8)
The "discipline of management" has made possible a world in which organizations are so integral to the fabric of our lives that we take them for granted. Management's real genius is turning complexity and specialization into performance!
 Not another management book! --- The goal of this book is to present a coherent view of the whole subject of "general management."
As the world economy becomes increasingly knowledge based and global, work will continue to grow more specialized and complex, not less. So, management will play a much bigger role in your life in the future!
This, then is the fundamental paradox at the heart of modern economies. The more highly educated and specialized employees become, the more they will need to perform well!By changing the word "manager" to "leader" or "executive" (Welch and Drucker), a new attitude, one focused on performance, has emerged in society.
"Managerial literacy" means that we will all need to learn to think like "managers," meaning leaders or executives. It means that you will need an understanding of the "discipline of management! in order to be successful in the future!
The purpose of the book is to explain the underlying WHY? of both the theory and practice of management.
 How this book is organized --- the problem of "advice without context" (11-15)
Good THEORY helps makes sense of the what's happening in the world around you. It helps you see patterns. It separates what matters from what does not. And it helps you ask the right questions!
True mastery of the CHANGE that is so prevalent today comes from understanding WHY? the world works as it does. The more things change, the more fundamental principles matter!
This book is divided into two parts --- part one, "DESIGN" deals with the big picture of "Why do people work together and how?"
 The case method --- a word about examples (p15-16)
Part two, "EXECUTION" deals with translating plans into performance or creating living blueprints for superior performance!
1) Value creation --- from the outside in (p19-42)
2) Business models --- converting insight to enterprise (p43-70)
3) Strategy --- the logic of superior performance (p71-93)
"The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do!"
4) Organization --- where to draw the lines (p94-115)
Quote = Michael E. Porter (p71)
 Doing better by being different (p73-77)
 The link between strategy and performance (p77-81)
 How do you play the game of strategy? (p81-83)
 Making st rategic tradeoffs (p83-85)
 Thinking strategically (p85-89)
 From doing good to doing better --- strategy for nonprofits (p89-93)
PART 2 --- EXECUTION --- making it happen (p117-213)
"In the end, a vision without the ability to execute is probably a hallucination."
5) Facing reality --- which numbers matter and why (p119-128)
Quote = Stephen M. Case, Chairman, AOL Time Wasrner (p117)
"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted!"
6) The "real" bottom line --- mission and measures (p129-148)
Quote = Albert Einstein (p119)
7) Betting on the future --- innovation and uncertainty (p149-173)
8) Delivering results --- first, you focus (p174-193)
"Results are obtained by exploiting opportunitites, not by solving problems.
Quote = Peter F. Drucker (p174)
9) Managing people --- whcih values matter and why (p194- )
 Setting priorities and the 80-20 rule (p175-179)
 Pareto's law and the quality revolution (p179-182)
 Resource allocation --- the hard part is saying "NO" (p182-186)
 The discipline of letting go (p186-188)
 Beating yesterday (p188-193)
"When hiring people, you look for three qualities --- integrity, intelligence and energy. And if they don't have the first quality, the other two will kill you! You think about it. It's true. If you hire somebody without INTEGRITY, you really want them to be dumb and lazy!"
EPILOGUE --- Next steps (p215-222)
Quote = Warren Buffett (p194)
SOURCES AND RELATED WRITINGS (p223-232)
Go to: Achievement Issue at Work
Go to: Character Issue at Work
Go to: Leadership Issue at Work
Go to: Performance Issue at Work
Go to: Leadership Control Essay
Go to: Home Page Index
Go to: Interactive Index