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The Little Black Book of Management

August 15, 2012 Book Reviews, Management No Comments
Bob’s Rating
Book Reviews

“The Little Black Book of Management”, is a very much needed resource. Simply put, it précis 94 of the better known management tools, techniques and concepts that have proven effective across many industries, organisations and indeed, cultures.

In some respects I found this an unusual book to review, as I did not have to read it. In fact, the author states in the introduction “No one should read this book; you probably haven’t got the time”. So, I took her at her word! Seriously, the whole intent of this book is to act as a reference source – a quick and easy way to access a well-used and workable management tool, concept or technique, quickly, as and when it’s needed.

Turner does a great job of setting the book out in a way that makes access easy. There are two matrices (project and day-to-day) plus a detailed index that makes finding the right tool for the particular management situation, challenge or problem, easy. I can only wonder at the amount of time taken by the author to put this resource together, let alone the creativity in developing the matrices and page set-outs. Each topic is generally described in one page (including examples) with the second page given over to diagrams, activities or exercises for photocopying.

All of the great management concepts are here – cause and effect, brainstorming, six-sigma, SWOT, learning styles, just-in-time; the list goes on … for 94 topics!

The title, “The Little Black Book of Management” sums up this book very well. For me, unfortunately I felt the title may have influenced the final production of the book too much. The font size is small. In some cases (e.g. diagrams), it’s tiny. The book measures 125mm by 200mm. This means that getting everything onto two pages in an easily read font is virtually impossible. Increasing the size to 150 by 230 would have made a difference – the book could still have its title “The Little Black Book of Management”.

Although the font-size was a slight detractor for me, the book is still a great book. I believe every manager should have one close by for those times when some structure, strategy or perhaps creativity is needed to solve a problem or provide some motivation. The book would also be useful for students and an excellent resource for management trainers. As a management development consultant and writer, I’ll certainly refer to it often.

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