Book review: Management Tips

Management TipsTitle: Management Tips

Author/s: Harvard Business Review

Published by: The Harvard Business Review

Price: €16.35

Reviewed by: Carl Hubbard

The redoubtable Harvard Business Review has published a first for this scion of business publishing:  A collection of “tips” gleaned from the writings of its stellar cast of modern-day internet bloggers. This  is a compilation of the Management Tip of The Day from the Review.  Designed for the pocket and housed in an ochre moleskin hardback with a silk ribbon marker, this is clearly designed to capture, dare I say create, a true HBR-inspired gift market for the busy executive.

However, it is, as one could have imagined, so much more than a handsome little book of inspiration. The colour suggests “gold” and this collection is indeed a nugget of gold amongst the dizzying array of glossily packaged business books on display in the bookstores.

So what is there to garner from the pages within? The book offers quick and practical advice on how to manage yourself, manage your team and manage your business, and it is divided up accordingly.  The advice is as valid for public service executives as for the private sector – take these three tips and assess for yourself:

  1. Listen Better
    Think – engage in the conversation by thinking ahead. Try to anticipate the conclusions.
    Review – pause briefly and mentally summarise the points.
    Listen – watch nonverbal clues that could indicate what the speaker isn’t saying. What isn’t said is often as important as what is.
  2. Participate in their stories
    Motivating employees to higher levels of performance is a challenge for most leaders. Take notice of what kind of person your employee wants to be. Then articulate how what you need done fits into or even enhances that image.
  3. Simplify
    Today’s consumers reward simplicity. They want direct connection and streamlined design. Find unnecessary complexity in your organisation. Find ways to cut clutter in your business. Serve your customers how they want to be served – simply.

At the back of this book there is a “List of Attributions”, offering further information on the sources from which these tips were adapted, and you can but marvel at the innovative, entrepeneurial and leadership nous fostered by the Harvard Business Review over the years: famous names like Rosabeth Moss Kanter and John Kotter have made worthy contributions to this indispensable and inspirational collection of self- management/leadership/entrepreneurship tips and advice.

Consider rewarding yourself with this book if you got book tokens this Christmas and challenge yourself to affect at least some of its ideals in your busy life.

For those with smart phones consider downloading HBR tips which will deliver a tip per day to your phone.