AUTHOR: Morgen Witzel
PUBLISHER: Bloomsbury : ISBN 978-1-4729-0496-6 246 pages
What’s it about ? Simply, a grand and glorious wallow in corporate incompetence. Think of the bad the brutish and the just plain arrogant brought low and you won’t go far wrong. One good point about the book, is that although we sort of know at the start that “the butler did it,” it’s nice to have one’s prejudices about big nasty corporates being borne out.
Who’s it for ? Managers and students who want to learn from the sins of corporate hubris and hopefully don’t make the same mistakes again.
Why read it ? There’s some nice prose and , if you like disaster movies, plenty to feed on from debacles at Ford Lehman, Royal Ahold, BP, Enron and the rest of those nasty scoundrels who are a joy to the headline writers of the financial pages of the world’s media. Although the stories are well known, the lessons are worth recounting.
What’s the style ? Slightly “I’m smarter than you are,” and somewhat disapproving… The headmaster telling off the school’s big bully.
and the best advice… The “Warning Flags” (all 50 of them scattered throughout the book), neatly sum up the overall theme of impending doom and gloom coming soon to a corporation near you.
and if only time to read one chapter ? Chapter 12 “High Noon in the Garden of Good and Evil.” From page 222 comes the author’s musing, “as managers we are given power and authority over other people. But what right have we to direct their efforts or give them orders if we know less than they do? Is there any more pitiable or despised figure, in any walk of life, than an ignorant superior?” Sadly the book is stuffed with people like that.
How MCE Rate it ? Three stars . Well researched, but too gloomy…. There’s too much bad news to really want to settle for the grim reaper, present on almost every page. If you have to read about management, let’s be uplifted….
How to buy it ? At bloomsbury http://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/managing-for-success-9781472904966/