From Publishers Weekly
Originally created to provide the U.S. government with industrial managers who could address the business side of military logistics during WWII, Harvard's intensive nine-week curriculum for senior managers focuses on decision making, global competition, corporate finance, organizational competence and teamwork. Here, marketing consultant Stevens (King Icahn; Sudden Death: The Rise and Fall of E.F. Hutton) aims to distill the program's lessons, drawing on anecdotes from corporate executives who have completed the program and some faculty members (the school did not authorize this book). For example, one sales executive, a former military man, learned to change his authoritarian, micromanaging style to one that allows him to act as a source of experience and information, resulting in his subordinates more actively following his lead and working harder for him. Another learned that he is not always the expert; faced with employees trying to unionize, he reflected on the lessons of the Harvard course and rather than firing the union supporters, which would have been both incendiary and illegal he hired an accomplished labor lawyer. While it may appeal to executives accustomed to self-analysis and who have sought additional professional training, the book falls predictably short of its goal to recreate the Harvard experience for the reader.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
The program summarizes what's taught at the renowned management school, which was started during WWII and flourishes today as a rite of passage for top corporate executives. After framing the program's inception as a response to Hitler and then using Truman's decision to bomb Japan as an example of management resolve, the military emphasis diminishes, but not much. The writing is combative, even for today's take-no-prisoners corporations, and the reader needlessly exaggerates this. The program covers a lot of ground so quickly that the ideas sound like platitudes or clichés. This and the wordiness of the writing make it hard to tolerate despite the basic soundness of the management lessons. T.W. © AudioFile 2001, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine