Book Review: Like a Virgin

Emma De Vita reviews the book by Richard Branson

Richard Branson's new book
Richard Branson's new book

With a title like this, it's no surprise that the entrepreneur Richard Branson is the author of a book that aims to impart "secrets they won't teach you at business school".

One secret is that "change is good - as long as it is managed", and draws on Virgin's various business acquisitions, giving some good management advice along the way. "Management overseeing any restructuring or merger," Branson writes, "should find ways to inspire all employees to think like entrepreneurs."

And treat staff like adults.

"A person's own conscience is usually the hardest taskmaster of all, so the more responsibility you give people, the better they will perform," he continues.

Another chapter eulogises the importance of investing in your people. Can the team you manage learn from other teams in your organisation? Do you make sure, as a senior manager, that your front-line staff can communicate with you openly and easily? "Managers who want to learn how to improve operations must step away from their desks and get to know their staff," says Branson.

Finally, you need to remove barriers that stop employees performing at their best - whether that's cultural issues or more practical matters.

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