Can you manage?

Ivor Kenny. Oak Tree Press. Paperback. 84pp. €15

Can you manage?
Author: Ivor Kenny
ISBN-13: 781781191286
Publisher: Oak Tree Press
Guideline Price: €15

Ivor Kenny has a well-deserved reputation as a sharp observer of management, thanks to his combination of academic study and field work with leading organisations. His ideas are distilled here in a revised version of an earlier work, pulling together some of his key observations about organisational practice. The book transcends business and is as much about human nature as it is about corporate life. Poets and philosophers are quoted liberally, alongside chief executives and academics.

Kenny has a confident and assured style and knows the value of story-telling. He also meets his stated aim of achieving a balance between brevity and reduction ad absurdum.

One of the key messages is that management involves achieving balance between strength and resolve and humility and flexibility. The capacity to comprehend and live with ambiguity is important. Ego can be toxic, and macho management doesn’t work in the longer run.

Other observations include that the secret of efficiency is enthusiasm – compulsion doesn’t work; people do not resist change, they resist loss; and one of the greatest barriers to change is lack of cohesion in the top team.