The Management Bookshelf

Many of these books are about managing change.  For me, this is the single greatest challenge in any business.  The better you understand it, the better you'll plan and survive its effects.   The more you can appreciate the nature of change the better it will help to achieve your objectives and understand the effects on you, your organization and you clients.

Teaching the Elephant to Dance

A fairly easy to read book (~250pages), with a simple model at its heart.    You may find it rather American if your a UK reader.  Lots of case examples quoted to back up the principles espoused in the book.  This book is a practical look at how change can be enabled in organizations by considering together the Vision, the preparation, and the change that will enable you to create the tomorrow you have planned.



Managing Strategic Change

This can be heavy going, but provides one of the most powerful models for understanding change of any kind that I have come across.  The TCP (Technical, Cultural, Political) model can be applied to almost any circumstance you can envisage.  It helps ensure that you really cover the bases in thinking through strategic and simple changes in any system.



The Fifth Discipline

Senge's book has been very influential as organizations struggle to find ways to re-invent themselves for the 21st century.  The book promoting the concept of learning organization and the skills needed to enable it.  By adopting these ideas organizations should be better equipped to break out ineffective behaviours of the past.   I found the soft systems models particularly effective aids to understanding  cause/effect cycles. 


The Goal

Written like a novel, this little gem was a book I found hard to put down when I first was passed a copy.  The book describes the trials of a production manager and is a great lesson that the most obvious approach to  managing is not always the best.  A unique way of learning the Optimized Production Technology (OPT) approach to manufacturing.