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The Future of Management [Kindle Edition]

Gary Hamel , Bill Breen
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)

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Book Description

What fuels long-term business success? Not operational excellence, technology breakthroughs, or new business models, but management innovation—new ways of mobilizing talent, allocating resources, and formulating strategies. Through history, management innovation has enabled companies to cross new performance thresholds and build enduring advantages.

In The Future of Management, Gary Hamel argues that organizations need management innovation now more than ever. Why? The management paradigm of the last century—centered on control and efficiency—no longer suffices in a world where adaptability and creativity drive business success. To thrive in the future, companies must reinvent management.

Hamel explains how to turn your company into a serial management innovator, revealing:

The make-or-break challenges that will determine competitive success in an age of relentless, head-snapping change.
The toxic effects of traditional management beliefs.
The unconventional management practices generating breakthrough results in “modern management pioneers.”
The radical principles that will need to become part of every company’s “management DNA.”
The steps your company can take now to build your “management advantage.”

Practical and profound, The Future of Management features examples from Google, W.L. Gore, Whole Foods, IBM, Samsung, Best Buy, and other blue-ribbon management innovators.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Though this authoritative examination of today's static corporate management systems reads like a business school treatise, it isn't the same-old thing. Hamel, a well-known business thinker and author (Leading the Revolution), advocates that dogma be rooted out and a new future be imagined and invented. To aid managers and leaders on this mission, Hamel offers case studies and measured analysis of management innovators like Google and W.L. Gore (makers of Gore-Tex), then lists lessons that can be drawn from them. He doesn't gloss over how difficult it will be to reinvent management, comparing the new and needed shift in thinking to Darwin's abandoning creationist traditions and physicists who had to look beyond Newton's clockwork laws to discover quantum mechanics. But the steps needed to make such a profound shift aren't clearly outlined here either. The book serves primarily as an invitation to shed age-old systems and processes and think differently. There's little humor and few punchy catchphrases—the book has less sparkle than Jeffrey Pfeffer's What Were They Thinking?—but its content will likely appeal to managers accustomed to b-school textbooks and tired of gimmicky business evangelism. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


If companies now innovate by creating new products or new business models...why can t they do the same in how they manage organizations? --The New York Times, December 30, 2007

Like many great inventions, management practices have a shelf life...Gary Hamel explains how to jettison the weak ones and embrace the ones that work. --Fortune, September 19, 2007

There's much here that will resonate with forward-thinking managers. --BusinessWeek, October 8, 2007

Product Details

  • File Size: 413 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1422102505
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press; 1 edition (October 9, 2007)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004OC07OE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,057 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
90 of 91 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A hard topic with high expectations and mixed delivery October 25, 2007
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
When you write a book about the future of management, there are bound to be high expectations. When that book is written by one of the more celebrated management thinkers, those expectations go even higher. With that said and recognizing that it is hard to argue with success and stature. I have to say that this book left me flat. Hammel's Future of Management is a continuation on his 2000 work Leading the Revolution (LTR) which combined high impact statements with high design that reflected the height of the internet era. In many ways, the Future of Management is a more somber continuation of the ideas in LTR.

The first section of the book poses a powerful question in terms of what comes next for management innovation. That is followed by an explanation of the importance of management innovation over operational, product and strategic innovation. The section challenges the reader to first imagine, and then invent the future of management. A noble task and one that the author tries to address but unfortunately does not deliver on to the degree that you would expect.

The second section of the book highlights a few case studies such as Whole Foods, WL Gore, and Google. The cases are well written and unabashedly positive highlighting few of the challenges and setbacks people might face in this journey. A few, even anonomyous failures would have been much more illustrative of the concepts Hamel is advocating.

The third and final section is perhaps the best part of the book as it starts to set up some ideas on what future managers and management might look like. Here the results unfortunately are what you might expect, to paraphrase - the future of management will look much like the internet. OK, but I have heard that before from others.
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32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Misses the mark--a major disappointment February 2, 2008
There is an old Arab proverb: "He who speaks about the future lies even when he tells the truth".
The author makes some good points, particularly when discussing the corrosive affect of calcified corporate cultures on employee morale. But he extends his examples of Google, WL Gore and Whole Foods too far. What works for them might not work for other companies. He never makes this distinction (nor tells the reader how to identify it) and he falls into the trap of missing the difference between cause and effect (see the excellent book "The Halo Effect" to learn more about this all too common tendency amongst business management authors).
He gives some good examples of how technology can break down barriers inside of a company, such as internet enabled 'predictive markets' and their ability to help with m&a strategy. But then he goes on to suggest that company sponsored blogs where employees can vent their feelings about their employer (anonymously) might make for a healthier, more innovative workplace. Perhaps I am missing something, but I don't think this would go over too well in most workplaces.
But the real reason I can give only one star is that he never mentions the impact of different cultures on management styles. This is a gross oversight. What works in the US might not work in China, Brazil or India. I was surprised that someone writing a book with the bold title "The Future of Management" could completely overlook such an important topic, especially when our economy is becoming much more global. I would strongly suggest caution if one were to implement some of his strategies.
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32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
As he clearly indicates in his earlier books, notably in Competing for the Future (with C.K. Prahalad) and then in Leading the Revolution, Gary Hamel's mission in life is to exorcise "the poltergeists who inhabit the musty machinery of management" so that decision-makers can free themselves from what James O'Toole aptly characterizes as "the ideology of comfort and the tyranny of custom." In his Preface to this volume, written with Bill Breen, Hamel asserts that "today's best practices aren't good enough" and later suggests that he wrote this book for "dreamers and doers" who want to invent "tomorrow's best practices today." In this brilliant book, he explains how to do that.

In the city where I live, we have a number of outdoor markets at which slices of fresh fruit are offered as samples of the produce available. In that same spirit, I frequently include brief excerpts from a book to help those who read my review to get a "taste." Here is a representative selection of Hamel's insights:

"To thrive in an increasingly disruptive world, companies must become as strategically adaptable as they are operationally efficient. To safeguard their margins, they must become gushers of rule-breaking innovation. And if they're going to out-invent and outthink as growing mob of upstarts, they must learn how to inspire their employees to give the very best of themselves every day. These are the challenges that must be addressed by 21st-century management innovators." (Page 11)

"Many factors contribute to strategic inertia, but three pose a particularly grave threat to timely renewal. The first is the tendency of management teams to deny or ignore the need for a strategy reboot.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A better way to manage and lead
"Disengaged employees. Hamstrung innovation. Inflexible organizations. Although we are living in a new century, we are still plagued by the side effects of a management model that... Read more
Published 2 months ago by James Thomas
5.0 out of 5 stars Not an MBA yet I was amused
The advantages outweigh the disadvantages in this book. Hamel seems so critical about the traditional management even though he is an MBA guy. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Heba
5.0 out of 5 stars It'll blow your mind
Do not read this book because I said it is awesome. Read this book because it will blow your mind.
Published 4 months ago by Butch
5.0 out of 5 stars Best general management book
This is one of the best books I have read on management philosophy. Very thought provoking!!
Thank you Mr. Choi for recommending it to me!
Published 6 months ago by David Senko
3.0 out of 5 stars Required book for management class
This was one of a series of required books for a management class used in the MBA program. It was ok.
Published 6 months ago by YSD
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Great book from a great author. Timely information and appropriate for any business application that applies to big and small businesses
Published 7 months ago by docsaway
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply put: powerful and mind blowing
Very direct perspective of how companies are changing and how leadership has to evolve in order to catch up with new times.
Published 8 months ago by Simn Enrique Parisca
5.0 out of 5 stars Good
It provides many methods to manage an org, especially the lattice way.
good. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Xu, D.
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent condition
This book was in an excellent condition and was purchased cheaper by purchasing through Amazon than I could buy in Australia. Read more
Published 10 months ago by John R McCullough
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of all the rest
I have read a hundred books on management, including all of Drucker's work. Hamel's is the best. Peter would give it five stars. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Anthony R. DiBona
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More About the Author

Gary Hamel is a founder and chairman of Strategos, and Visiting Professorof Strategic and International Management at the London Business School. He is the co-author of the international bestseller, Competing for the Future.

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