Management Theory came a long way in the 20th Century, but it's always best when rooted in the basics. As the legendary early management theorist Mary Parker Follett put it, management is simply "the art of getting things done through people." As we enter an age of increasing complexity in the 21st century it's good to remember this axiom, and the best Management
book of the year, The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business
by Patrick Lencioni (published by Jossey-Bass), is deeply rooted in it.
“The single greatest advantage any company can achieve is organizational health. Yet it is ignored by most leaders even though it is simple, free, and available to anyone who wants it.”
The Advantage, page 1
What would happen if Patrick Lencioni--a truly elite business book writer--left the fictional story lines and characters more common to his work and wrote a straight-forward business book? In 2012, to our delight and every manager's benefit, we found out. In The Advantage, Lencioni presents the important, yet rarely addressed, issue of interpersonal barriers that prevent organizational health. These dysfunctions (e.g. politics or inter-team rivalry, lack of accountability, disruptive turnover, confusion) impair productivity and morale, which directly impedes success. Organizational wholeness--something attainable by all, Lencioni assures us--, trumps everything else in business. We agree.
View our Management shortlist to see more great books in the category.
About Dylan Schleicher
Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.