All maritime navigation achievement is a few footnotes to Magellan. All management theory is a few footnotes to Peter Drucker, to whom this book is humbly dedicated.
These essays are a backward glance over travelled roads, and a forward look at what may lie ahead. They address what I consider matters in management, whether in public, private or non-governmental sectors.
When you’ve have had a lot of life experience and worked in many organisations the past can confuse you. Young people may see the future more clearly. However time teaches enduring lessons I’ve tried to summarise in these thematic essays.
What to me is most important in management? Organisations must always focus on external results. If you do good things for people outside the organisation it will lead to good things inside an organisation. For individuals and organisations, strengths and opportunities must be fostered and developed. Problems and weaknesses should be withdrawn from or ignored rather than allowed to soak up too much resource.
Organisations may be slightly unnatural “natural persons” since they are phenotypic expressions of people within them: beaver’s working build their dam. Organisations are hierarchical even where team-based, and those appointed to top management positions involving power over others must have integrity. They must respect individuals’ inviolable dignity – that inner core of being that must always be safeguarded regardless of how an individual has behaved or impacted on others.
Managers must treat others as they themselves would like to be treated – the world’s great religions seem to agree on that Golden Rule.
An admired professor once said “you never actually finish a paper, you only ever abandon it”.. Learning is an endless frontier that never ceases to move outward, leaving donkeys like me struggling to keep up and never catching the carrot bobbing ahead of my nose. Writing down what I think matters in management can also be endless and will never be completed and so has to be finished or abandoned, even though I have more I’d like to say.
If you read these essays and feel you have gained some value from them, turn some of that value into a cash donation to my chosen good cause – the Red Cross. It will welcome your donation for what is otherwise a free book I share.
22 September 2013