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The Future of Management

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  1,308 ratings  ·  79 reviews
What fuels long-term business success? Not operational excellence, technology breakthroughs, or new business models, but management innovation—new ways of mobilizing talent, allocating resources, and formulating strategies. Through history, management innovation has enabled companies to cross new performance thresholds and build enduring advantages.

In The Future of Managem
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published September 10th 2007 by Harvard Business Review Press (first published August 2nd 1996)
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Jan 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing
this is the best practical book on how management is changing and how you can be waaay ahead of the curve. read it, or my notes for an idea of what it's about. the book has a lot more practical advice about innovating your management processes regardless of whether you're running your own company or whether you're working at a big corporation.


14: Max Weber has been dead for 90 years, but control, precision, stability, discipline, and reliability - the traits he saluted in his anthem to beaur
Leonard Gaya
Oct 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hamel tackles a rather difficult and exciting topic: "Right now, your company has 21st-century, Internet-enabled business processes, mid-20th-century management processes, all built atop 19th-century managment principles." In other words, the assessment he makes on today's views on management is that we still cling on principles that were invented in the industrial era (think of F.W. Taylor or even of Peter Drucker). These principles have become a dogma in a post-industrial world where they are ...more
Sep 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Again I'm out of my reading-comfortzone, this time with a book about management. I have never read a book about management, but this was a total eye-opener and a jackpot. This guy totally get's it. When something weird should happen and I'd build/run a company, I'd totally do it like that.

Some quotes:

Listen for example to how Eric S. Raymond characterizes the open source community: "It is an evolving creative anarchy in which there are thousands of leaders and tens of thousands of followers link
Rob Peters
Oct 05, 2012 rated it really liked it

The author Gary Hamel mixes real-world examples of management innovation with a compelling vision and business case of why management discipline is overdue for a reinvention!

My view of management innovation is on a current lack of "quality of social relationship metrics" on the balance sheet or income statement. As a business leader, do you measure and operationalize your products/services, employees, and/or your organizations's Relationship Capital (RC)?
Oct 31, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
So so. It’s a review of the management style of Whole Foods, Gore (of GoreTex fame) and Google from 2007.

The key idea is pushing authority down to the workers. I can get behind that. That said, given that Google hasn’t been that successful outside of their core business (which is an incredible oil derrick) it’s not clear how well that model pans out in the long run.

It was mildly interesting. I’m not angry that I spent the time, but wouldn’t recommend you doing the same.
Sep 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing
"It is times we all do away with antiquated 20th century, industrial aged thinking and managing. Titles, office location, etc. do not carry the influence it did in the last century. Productivity, meeting goals via clearly indentified metrics and accountability creates the innnovation needed in this new age of management leadership." ...more
Jinan Kim
Nov 20, 2014 rated it liked it
Yes, there are way to change the company and change the world.
I know it's rather easy to think about revolution, but it's really hard to implement what you think.
Because there should be lots of sacrifice, when somebody do that revolution by their own hand.
Just watch the success stories and hope to some great one change the world. But I wish that one is me. hopefully.
Joonas Kiminki
Oct 17, 2018 rated it liked it
An inspirational book about management innovation, but already fairly outdated in its examples. Gives you the perspective that organisational change is sloooow. This book was published 11 years ago so it's been over a decade since the inception of these ideas and they're still on their way to real life. ...more
Adrian van Eeden
Oct 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business
I read this book originally before the financial crisis but recently I've been thinking about how to restructure my teams and do away with management and some of Hamel's philosophy popped into my mind again so I re-read the book. It is still contemporary and still challenges the norms of today. In fact the provocation Gary Hamel makes that if you bought a manager from almost 100 years ago into today's future, they would be blown away by the technological changes, but fit right in to the manageme ...more
Sep 17, 2017 rated it it was ok
democratization & distribution of organizational decision making are at the core of Management 2.0 according to Gary Hamel. Decent concepts and already in use at Zappos, Github, ThoughtWorks, Whole Foods, etc. Good to see them explicitly stated instead of hunting for tidbits in Lean Principles. Drucker & Taiichi Ohno do have so much more depth in their stuff which is much older, much more deeply thought out & isn't just a collection of a bunch of anecdotes. I am very intrigued by Holacracies but ...more
Lukasz Nalepa
Apr 06, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-work
I have very mixed feeling. On one hand author states that his goal is to spark the need to innovate in this area, without giving his own solutions, and in the rest of the book he actually does give his own solutions ;) All in all nothing revolutionary, rather slight suggestion of progressint into teal organisations, without calling it that way. A bit boring in some parts.
Shashwat Bansal
Oct 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best books. The best part is that it makes you think in ways where you literally start searching for the why of everything around a business. Leave the business but one starts to question and even develop the ways one can question the principles written in the book. Brilliant and a must read!
John Brandt
May 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you are a change agent leader. This is a great book. It can help give you what you need to create the fire for a conversation.
Nikolay Theosom
Oct 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
i don't read much about management, but this feels like a cornerstone work on management innovation. ...more
Natalia Vysotskaya
Jan 06, 2020 rated it liked it
Good questions to ask yourself. Could be third the size, too academic
Murat Yıldırım
Jan 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
It includes and tells so great ideas. Until I read this book, I was thinking that a good hierarchy was the most important element for an organization. Thanks Gary Hamel to change my mind.
Mar 14, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: previewed
Nothing new, outdated. Badly written.
Jeff Garrison
Feb 16, 2016 rated it liked it
Our current management practices grew out of the rapid industrialization of the late 19th and early 20th century. In their time, they were very efficient at dividing up labor and responsibilities and creating hierarchies along with rules and regulations. These practices have raised productivity and increased our standard of living. Unfortunately, as the pace of change accelerated over the past few decades, those organizations holding tight to past practices have found themselves left behind. In ...more
Jul 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
The Future of Management
Gary Hamel with Bill Breen
Harvard Business School Press

As he clearly indicates in his earlier books, notably in Competing for the Future (with C.K. Prahalad) and then in Leading the Revolution, Gary Hamel’s mission in life is to exorcise “the poltergeists who inhabit the musty machinery of management” so that decision-makers can free themselves from what James O’Toole aptly characterizes as "the ideology of comfort and the tyranny of custom." In his Preface to this volum
Matt Mayevsky
Nov 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: economics
Co-determination is an old technology organizations, which is rediscovered. Like Social- or Benefit Corporation. According to Professor Gary Hamel, the main rationale for (referring to the term popularized by Thomas Kuhn) paradigm shift now the dominant business model are, among others:
insufficiency of the current management model
significant inaccuracy of forecasts
reduction function employees to cogs in the machine
waste of potential commitment and creativity of employees

Citing "Wisdom of Crowds"
Guy J
Jun 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: current and future managers, execs
This was a fascinating book by one of the best strategic management gurus of our time. Hamel makes a compelling argument that management as it’s practiced today is fundamentally obsolete. Rigid hierarchies, centralized authority, stifling bureaucracy, process slavery, and top-down strategic planning are all 19th century models that have no place in the 21st century. It is no longer sufficient to be efficient and productive. Change (he argues) is occurring at a head-snapping pace, and only the mo ...more
James Kenly
Jul 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
I am writing this immediately after reading the last page, so this review will likely not be jam-packed with ground-breaking insights [end disclaimer].

It's a great read -- despite it's institutional and corporate cover, The Future of Management is a powerful catalyst for self-critique and creative thinking around management and corporate organization. The case studies are fantastic -- Google, W.L. Gore, Whole Foods, Best Buy and several others illustrate that operating outside the traditions and
Adam Wiggins
Mar 18, 2012 rated it liked it
This book argues that management had its last major dose of innovation around the time the discipline was created, around 100 years ago. It supports this partially with detailed profiles of three successful companies with unique approaches to management: Whole Foods, W.L. Gore, and Google.

From the intro: "We must learn how to coordinate the efforts of thousands of individuals without creating a burdensome hierarchy of overseers; to keep a tight rein on costs without strangling human imagination;
The guiding principles of modern management have their roots in the industrial revolution. It is a system based on the aggregation of decision making at the top of a management pyramid. But in the age of the highly educated knowledge worker, might the assumptions of a model based on factory assembly lines fail to obtain?

Hamel suggests this is so, and asks what the future of management may look like if we were to shuck these false assumptions. Whole Foods redesigned the management model for the g
Chris McDermott
Feb 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Hamel and Breen outline the history of management stating that inovations in this space, since the time of Taylor, have been few and far between (noted exceptions include the likes of Toyota and their ability to harness the innovative capabilities of the work force). They give the example, if a C-level exec working in the 1960's is piloted into a current day org they would, with the possible exception of access to data, see very little difference in the way orgs are managed. Orgs still have a tr ...more
Oct 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Despite the bad naming, I loved this book.
This is not your typical business case-study book. What I love about this book is that it walks you through the thinking process of innovation, customizable to your own organization.
It's like a Innovation Therapy session by a very smart consultant.
I recommend this book to anyone who is part of an organization, and either themselves or through their coworkers felt the frustration of hitting a wall with innovative ideas. This book breaks down what the invi
Dec 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book. This will appeal to both people who are just beginning to learn about newer management structures and people who are already familiar with them, because the author includes a lot of the basics, and asks the right questions. For some, it will contain too much convincing that a new management structure is needed. For others, the convincing is a critical part. After getting through those, the insights become deeper, and include some great examples. (For those who like this, you may grea ...more
May 10, 2011 rated it liked it
OK, but not as ground-shaking as the Foreward promises.

The author's premise is that the very practice of management should be subjected to processes used to produce system-wide innovation.

For example, Google's use of FedEx Days (in which employees can work on any project they desire one day a week, but Positively Absolutely must deliver overnight, in a next day reporting meeting) marks a novel way to increase autonomy and commitment...

But in a meta-management model, this is still a one-time in
Rick Austin
Thought provoking book on how the current management practices were a creation of the "factory" mentality of the late 1800's and early 1900's. When you think about all of the innovation that has occurred over the last 100+ years it is interesting to contemplate that our management approach has not change much at all. He uses three case studies, including Whole Foods, Gore, and Google, to show how some companies have succeeded with a complete shift in management approach. Breaking down barriers, ...more
Dec 26, 2012 rated it liked it
“Collapsing entry barriers, hyperefficient competitors, customer power - these forces will be squeezing margins for years to come. In this harsh new world, every company will be faced with a stark choice: either set the fires of innovation ablaze, or be ready to scrape out a mean existence in a world where seabed labor costs (Chinese prisoners, anyone?) are the only difference between making money and going bust.

Given this, it’s surprising that so few companies have made innovation everyone’s jo
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Dr. Gary P. Hamel is an American management expert. He is a founder of Strategos, an international management consulting firm based in Chicago.

Gary Hamel is Professor of Strategic Management at London Business School. He has researched strategy development in a multinational context.

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“Right now, your company has 21st-century Internet-enabled business processes, mid-20th-century management processes, all built atop 19th-century management principles.” 0 likes
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