Whereas most books on managing people approach the subject from the perspective of a manager of an idealised organisation, Becoming a Better Boss takes a real-world approach, looking at the topic from the perspective of an employee in a real-world organisation—dysfunctions, warts, and all. Focusing on the choices individual employees make every day in getting work done, this book reinvents the practice of management one employee at a time.
Author Julian Birkinshaw stresses the importance of taking management seriously, reveals where management practice often goes wrong, and dives deeply into the worldview of employees. He then explores the common personal biases and frailties of managers and discusses the vital importance of experimentation to overcome the limitations and idiosyncrasies of a particular organisation. Throughout, he supports his assertions with case studies from a wide and varying range of management experiments and situations at real companies.
Between the stress of deadlines and the demands of today's business environment, it's easy for managers to lose sight of the importance of people management. Becoming a Better Boss not only shows managers how to lead effectively, but why doing so is vitally important to every organisation's success.
“Nobody else should write about – or pronounce upon – our management crisis without reading this first.”
“Becoming a Better Boss is a revolutionary approach to management because it starts from the view of the person being managed, not the one doing the managing.”
“We know the secret of long term success is more engaged employees. In this book Julian Birkinshaw shows how managers can do a much better job of fully engaging the people around them, so they can do their best work.”
“In Becoming a Better Boss, Julian Birkinshaw provides a clear roadmap for how we can all become great managers.”
“Good leadership and management begins with good people management and it’s never been more important given the increasing diversity of the workforce and the ways in which we work. Julian’s book speaks to these challenges and is full of great case studies, models, and ideas about how to effectively manage and engage the workforce of today...he is able to bring new perspectives and insights and deliver these in a highly readable and engaging way.”
“Julian’s new book is perhaps the world’s first discourse that looks at management from the eyes of the employee.”
“One of the hallmarks of a truly successful company is its ability to harness the talents and skills of its employees across the world. In this book, Julian Birkinshaw shows why so many companies struggle with this, and he offers practical advice to help managers at all levels be more effective at getting the most out of their people.”
Julian Birkinshaw is Professor and Chair of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at the London Business School. He has PhD and MBA degrees in Business from the Richard Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario, and a BSc (Hons) from the University of Durham. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the Stockholm School of Economics, 2009.
Professor Birkinshaw’s main area of expertise is in the strategy and management of large multinational corporations, and on such specific issues as corporate entrepreneurship, innovation, subsidiary-headquarters relationship, knowledge management, network organizations, and global customer management. He is the author of eleven other books, including Reinventing Management: Smarter Choices for Getting Work Done (Revised and Updated Edition 2012), Giant Steps in Management (2007), Inventuring: Why Big Companies Must Think Small (2003), Leadership the Sven-Goran Eriksson Way (2002) and Entrepreneurship in the Global Firm (2001), and over seventy articles in such journals as Harvard Business Review, Sloan Management Review, Strategy Management Journal and Academy of Management Journal. He is active as a consultant and executive educator to many large companies, including Rio Tinto, SAP, GSK, ABB, Ericsson, Kone, Petrofac, WPP, Bombardier, Sara Lee, HSBC, Akzo Nobel, Roche, Thyssen Krupp, UBS, PWC, Coloplast, BBC, Unilever and Novo Nordisk.
In 1998 the leading British Management magazine Management Today profiled Professor Birkinshaw as one of six of the “Next Generation of Management Gurus”. He is regularly quoted in international media outlets, including CNN, BBC, The Economist, the Wall Street Journal, and The Times. He speaks regularly at business conferences in the UK, Europe, North America and Australia.
Professor Birkinshaw is co-founder with best-selling author Gary Hamel of the Management Innovation Lab (MLab), a unique partnership between academia and business that is seeking to accelerate the evolution of management.
One of the defining features of Google’s management model – along-side its fun working environment – is its analytical, data-driven approach to decision-making. New products are launched through carefully controlled experiments. Highly paid persons’ opinions – HIPPOs for short – are disdained. The company’s chief economist has even predicted that the sexy job in the next 10 years will be statisticians.
So it is no surprise that when Google started to review its management operations, Laszlo Bock, and codenamed Project Oxygen, the initiative involved gathering more than 10 000 observations from performance reviews, feedback surveys, and interviews. After a lot of number crunching, as well as some subjective interpretation, the project team came up with a list of eight ranked factors that defined the really good managers at Google.