Book review: What Matters Now

Emma De Vita reviews the new book by Gary Hamel

What Matters Now
What Matters Now

Gary Hamel is a management thinker to be reckoned with. His ideas are respected and his latest book is very much grounded in today's gloomy economic environment.

His core argument is that "management as usual" is finished. A rethink of how we get people to do stuff at work is long overdue. And he just might have the answers.

Management within a capitalist society can often be a negative thing, preoccupied with beating the competition at all costs, sacrificing natural resources and making a few people rich. It's time to turn this on its head by making management - what he calls "the technology of human accomplishment" - a positive-sum game, which brings good things to all. How do you go about doing this? In part, it is created through the practice of self-management. This means letting employees create a better version of this by giving them autonomy. As befits these austere times, it's about less meaning more and organisations being more bottom-up than top-down.

His book calls for a radical rethinking of what a manager should be and, if followed, would bring a much more positive and sustainable future for the workplace - something all charities should strive for.

Emma De Vita is books editor of Management Today

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