The Future of Management

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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.

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Editorial Reviews

USA Today
His casual and frank writing style makes this akin to a one-on-one management master-class he is holding for you every morning for a week at Starbucks. No decaf allowed.
There's much here that will resonate with forward-thinking managers.
Here's a great idea from Gary Hamel . . .
The New York Times
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 Financial Times
...he offers an intriguing account of what managing in the future is going to look like.
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.
Fast Company
Among the prescriptions . . . more incentives for employees at all levels, and clearer ties between results and recognition.
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 2007 Reed Business Information
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781422102503
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/2007
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 447,944
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Gary Hamel has been on the faculty of the London Business School since 1983, where he is currently Visiting Professor of Strategic and International Management. He is also the founder of Strategos, a consulting company that has trained tens of thousands of individuals around the world.

Hamel received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan and has held faculty appointments at the U. of M. and Harvard Business School. He is a fellow of the World Economic Forum and serves on the editorial board of the Strategic Management Journal. Hamel lives in Northern California.

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Table of Contents

Preface     ix
Acknowledgments     xiii
Why Management Innovation Matters
The End of Management?     3
The Ultimate Advantage     19
An Agenda for Management Innovation     37
Management Innovation in Action
Creating a Community of Purpose     69
Building an Innovation Democracy     83
Aiming for an Evolutionary Advantage     101
Imagining the Future of Management
Escaping the Shackles     125
Embracing New Principles     147
Learning from the Fringe     185
Building the Future, of Management
Becoming a Management Innovator     215
Building the Future of Management     241
Notes     257
Index     265
About the Author     271
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 9 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 11 of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 29, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Book Review: The Future of Management by Gary Hamel

    I recently finished reading The Future of Management. Hamel suggests that we have pretty much perfected the management model that Henry Ford and others founded - a top-down management structure. Hamel questions whether that management model is the best model for us now. It served its purpose for a while, but its weakness is that it usually doesn't unleash passion, ownership and creativity from the workforce. It also assumes that the collective wisdom of a few "really smart people" is greater than the collective wisdom of ten, a hundred or ten thousand "normal people." Hamel shows that this thinking is flawed, by citing research and case studies. He holds up Gore (makers of Gore-Tex), Whole Foods, Google, GM, Toyota, and others as management innovators who have bucked the traditional model - and have done exceedingly well. These companies have flattened the leadership structure. Anyone in their company could have the next big idea. You don't have to have a big title to be heard. Teams hold each other accountable from within (and no team can afford a weak link). Fringe thought is encouraged. And employees are rewarded for breakthrough performances and contributions to the organization.

    While Ford said, "The problem is that every set of hands comes with a brain," Toyota received 500,000 ideas from their employees last year. Ford has floundered for years. Toyota has remained on top. Hamel tells the stories of several innovative companies, and I thought this was the strongest part of the whole book. Those chapters are full of thought-provoking questions that I'll ask our team, and practical advice that helps me understand how it all plays out.

    If you look around, you'll notice that in spite of this model's success, most companies have not adapted new management models. This isn't surprising. Those with positions of authority risk losing their place of prominence with this model, it feels risky and it costs some resources upfront. Fortunately, Hamel offers some advice on how to impact your organization (whether you are currently on the top or bottom of the food chain). If you think that those only wanting to survive will ultimately not survive, or that the management model of your organization might be based on false assumptions, or that the people in your organization need to be released to contribute more than they ever thought possible, this book is for you. I highly recommend it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2007

    A guide to new ideas in management

    This is a well-wrought, ambitious and fascinating book. For these reasons, and for its specific suggestions about how to produce management innovation, we recommend it to anyone who is interested in innovation, in managing for innovation, and in how management is changing. Gary Hamel¿s ambition is impressive. He works with the idea of the paradigm shift developed by Thomas Kuhn in his influential book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Hamel applies Kuhn¿s concept to management, arguing persuasively for the need to change managerial theories and practices. Where Hamel¿s study directs you for inspiration is particularly fascinating. How many authors suggest modeling management on Google, evolutionary biology and religion (to name but three examples)? While his examples of organizations that practice management innovation do differ from the industrial-age norm he wants to displace, some of his concepts are not as revolutionary as others, nor as radical as a paradigm shift might mandate. After all, many other experts have already suggested that hierarchical, top-down management may stifle innovation. Nonetheless, Hamel¿s book fulfills most of its ambitions. It is wide-ranging and quite useful.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2010

    Fascinating ideas about management are here

    Hamel does a terrific job of bringing out several very innovative thoughts about how management needs to change going forward. But more than just skate on the surface he provides several quite in depth examples to really drive home his main points on how it is possible to make big changes one small step at a time.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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