Mintzberg manages to land book of the year award

Henry Mintzberg took the top gong at the inaugural CMI Management Book of the Year Awards last night.

by Andrew Saunders
Last Updated: 26 Jan 2011
Before an audience of the great and the good assembled at the British Library in central London, Prof Mintzberg’s latest work, Managing (FT/Prentice Hall) was named overall Management Book of the Year, as well as winning the Practical Manager award. The winners in other categories were rEvolution by Bill Lucas (Crown House) which took the award for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, and Richard Donkin’s The Future of Work (Palgrave Macmillan), which was named Digital Management Book of the Year.

As we all know, the world is full of management books. Just take a look at the airport book stalls next time you are flying. But who has time to read them all, and which one should you choose? That’s the question which these new awards (a joint venture between the CMI and British Library) endeavour to answer.

According to research from the CMI, 85% of its members read at least one management book every year. CMI chief executive Ruth Spellman told the audience that their aim was to identify that one book which all managers should read - the book that is most inspirational, practical and whose messages most readily translate into everyday management life.

By that measure it’s pretty hard to argue that Mintzberg doesn’t deserve to win. He is one of the outstanding management thinkers of our generation, and his latest work is the culmination of nearly 40 years of study. He eschews the need for expensive, elitist management or leadership education, preferring instead to focus on the essentially practical nature of management. In the Mintzberg model the role of experience, judgment and a precise understanding of the context of decision-making are pre-eminent. It’s a very apt message for our times, in which we are arguably suffering a hangover caused in part by over-emphasis on individual leadership and not enough on the important of broader management.

The judging process began with shortlisting of the 145 entries by CMI members, before the final winners were picked by a panel including Prof Cary Cooper of Lancaster University Management School, Interbrand chair Rita Clifton and MT’s very own deputy editor Andrew Saunders.

Commenting on the winners, Saunders said ‘These are all books which have been selected by real managers looking for real enlightenment in their daily working lives. So it’s revealing that they have not been beguiled by the easy "ten-steps to success" type books which are so prevalent, opting instead for titles with harder but ultimately more durable and worthwhile messages.’

Of course MT readers in search of workplace enlightenment might also like to check out our own management book series HERE and HERE...

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