Book Review: Management From The Masters

Emma De Vita reviews Morgan Witzel's book, which gives lessons on the fundamentals of management from Buddhism and Daoism

Management from the Masters
Management from the Masters

For those charity managers looking for the longer view, this book by Morgen Witzel of the University of Exeter Business School is for you.

He presents 20 fundamentals of management practice that he has drawn from such diverse schools of thought as physics, Buddhism and Daoism. Take Law Six, Confucius's Golden Rule: this relates to ethics in business or, as Witzel reminds us, "what goes around comes around" - essentially, treating people fairly at work is what helps to keep everyone happy and the organisation on an even keel.

Or there's Kautilya's Rule. Kautilya was an ancient Indian sage who argued that, although it is best for a society to be in equilibrium, it is impossible for this to be maintained just by keeping things as they are: change is inevitable. In management terms, as Witzel puts it, this means ensuring your organisation "remains active and evolves and grows as it strives to reach its goals. Is not one of the primary responsibilities of a leader to be a change agent?"

One of the most important attributes of an organisation is adaptability - and that can be achieved only if its managers are flexible in their outlook. Just how set in your ways are you?

Emma De Vita is books editor of Management Today

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