BOOKS: Summer Round-Up - If holidays also refresh the mind, it's a good idea to pack Meredith Belbin's poolside top five

BOOKS: Summer Round-Up - If holidays also refresh the mind, it's a good idea to pack Meredith Belbin's poolside top five - Anyone who reads management books on holiday either has difficulty relaxing or finds that holidays offer an ideal moment to refresh

by MEREDITH BELBIN, a consultant on management issues, specialisingin teamwork
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

Anyone who reads management books on holiday either has difficulty relaxing or finds that holidays offer an ideal moment to refresh the mind away from the office. With this thought in mind, I offer a few suggestions.

I'd start with two books that bridge the gap between management and leisure, starting with cricket. David Roberts' The Cricket Coach's Guide to Man Management (Castle Publications pounds 19.50) is written straight from the crease of experience. The University of Bradford Management Centre led to the establishment of the University Centre of Cricketing Excellence, to lottery grants, to the coaching of the England team through the English Cricketing Board and, ultimately, to a revival in the English team's fortunes. In looking at the features of successful teams and captains, it offers lessons that cross-link to many corporate situations.

My next choice is for those of a literary disposition. Shakespeare on Management by Paul Corrigan (Kogan Page pounds 9.99) helps us to unravel hitherto unrevealed messages of the great bard, laying bare the typologies of leaders from the tragically unsuccessful to the more successful than average.

Don't be put off by the title of Building Cross-Cultural Competence by Charles Hampden-Turner and Fons Trompenaars (Wiley pounds 17.99). Chapters dealing with such matters as Universalism and Particularism sound daunting, but the book is beautifully written and with good case material. The lesson I drew from it is that effective management has much to do with reconciling cultural dilemmas.

Diversity Incorporated by Ron Johnson and David Redmond (Pearson Education pounds 21.99) is another title that may not grab the holiday reader. But the issues covered by the authors, as in their earlier Art of Empowerment, are central to the topical problems of the day.

Finally, I hesitate to mention my latest book, Managing without Power - Gender Relationships in the Story of Human Evolution (Butterworth Heinemann pounds 16.99). I might take it on holiday with me because I sometimes forget what I have written and need a reminder. It traces our evolutionary progress over 180,000 years. The relationship between men and women is seen as crucial to the character of society as it changes from one of mutual respect to one embodying power and brutality, before moving on to an age of uncertainty.

If there's any holiday entertainment to be extracted, it may lie in the debate about where we are heading.

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