Item description for Essential Managers: Making Decisions by Robert Heller...
Outline ReviewEven Hamlet, that famous equivocator, might not have been so stymied by the question "To be or not to be?" if he'd had this snappy little 72-pager on hand to help him make up his mind. Here, you'll find quick-and-dirty advice on the crucial three phases of making a tough decision, both on and off the job: identifying your unique decision-making style, and weighing it against your organizational culture; reaching a decision by identifying the key issues and people to involve, generating ideas and assessing their validity, gathering information and using models, minimizing risk and employing fail-safe strategies, and getting approval and support for your final decision; and implementing your decision, from communicating it to others and overcoming objects to it to monitoring its progress and building on it over time. On every page here, boxed tips, mini case studies, handy checklists, and easy-to-follow flow charts help you through the process--including how to handle other people's decisions and assess your own decision-making ability. Granted, if you're looking for very specific or in-depth guidance, you might find this book too cursory and general in its approach. But, if you're looking for a thumbnail guide to the basics, it'll do just fine.
It's worth mentioning that the book is part of the "Essential Managers" series by reference publisher Dorling-Kindersley--a series comprising 20 itty-bitty books on business and career topics that range from communication, leadership, and decision-making to the management of time, budgets, change, meetings, people, projects, and teams. Combining the talent of the "For Dummies" book series for breaking down a lot of information into bite-sized bits and sidebars with Dorling-Kindersley's signature design style of crisp, classy graphics on a gleaming white backdrop, the books don't represent the cutting edge of business thinking or reflect necessarily any unique individual perspective. Instead, it's as if someone had collated the best general thinking on these 20 topics, and rolled them out into 72 brightly designed and easy-to-read pages--studded along the way with boxed tips, color shots of a multiracial cast of "coworkers" animatedly hashing through the workplace issues of the day, and, on the last few pages of each volume, a self-test of one's skills in the topic at hand. Again, they're not for anyone who's looking for more in-depth or focused help on any of the covered subjects, but they're perfect as a quick general-interest reference; and, let's face it, they're so damn cute, and look so smart in a neat little stack or row, that probably you'll want to buy a whole bunch to give as gifts to your entire staff or department. --Timothy Murphy
Product Description Learn to analyze and implement important business decisions like a pro with this trusted guide.
Learn all you need to know about making effective decisions, from defining objectives to developing fail-safe strategies. Making Decisions shows you how to reassess your own decision-making skills and oversee the resolutions made by others, plus it provides practical techniques for you to try when making decisions. Power tips help you handle real-life situations and develop the first-class decision-making skills that are the key to a productive and informed workplace. The Essential Manager have sold more than 1.9 million copies worldwide! Experienced and novice managers alike can benefit from these compact guides that slip easily into a briefcase or a portfolio. The topics are relevant to every work environment, from large corporations to small businesses. Concise treatments of dozens of business techniques, skills, methods, and problems are presented with hundreds of photos, charts, and diagrams. It is the most exciting and accessible approach to business and self-improvement available.
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Robert Heller is himself a prolific author of management books. The first, The Naked Manager, published in 1972, established Heller as an iconoclastic, wide-ranging guide to managerial excellence -- and incompetence. Heller has drawn on the extensive knowledge of managers and management that he acquired as the founding editor of Management Today, Britain's premier business magazine, which he headed for 25 years. Books such as The Supermanagers and In Search of European Excellence address the ways in which the latest ideas on change, quality, and motivation are providing new routes to business success. In 1990 Heller wrote Culture Shock, one of the first books to describe how IT would revolutionize management. Since then, as writer, lecturer, and consultant, Heller has continued to tell managers how to "Ride the Revolution," the title of his 2000 book, written with Paul Spenley. His books for Dorling Kindersley's Essential Managers series are international bestsellers.
Robert Heller was born in 1932.
Robert Heller has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about Essential Managers: Making Decisions?
What should I do? May 8, 2001
Robert Heller is a leading authority on management consulting. In this practical guide, he shows us how to make effective decisions. This will allow you to identify your own decision making style.
"Always try to balance an intuitive hunch with sound logical analysis." -pg. 10 "Encourage people to speak out by praising, not damning, new ideas." -pg. 29
I felt this book has some great ideas for encouraging the creative process. I also loved the point which stated: "Be prepared to accept people's advice if you have asked for it." -pg. 24. It is so annoying to be asked for an idea, only to have your creative idea disregarded or worse, completely rejected.
Are you thinking about who will be affected by your decision? Does your staff have the information they need to make the tough decisions?
I really enjoyed reading this book and felt it would help managers to promote a team environment. People are creative and when you allow them to give you input, you just can't help but gain their respect and admiration. When you make your employees feel appreciated, that is a key to your success.
~The Rebecca Review
Suggests Aiming a Decision-Making Elephant Gun at Problems Mar 23, 2001
Decision making should vary enormously in how much time is invested in it, from issue to issue. Studies have shown that relatively few decisions account for almost all of the benefit that an organization gets from choosing better paths. In this brief guide, the issue of which decisions to focus on receives far too little attention. The template given is one that would be used for pretty heavy duty issues, but short of the most important ones. As a result, most people will not get the guidance they need to make the right kind of decisions for the day-to-day, less important matters. To its credit, the book emphasizes the benefits of keeping lots of people involved in examining problems, looking for solutions, and commenting on the decisions while they are in process.
The book has a number of flaws that I found annoying. First, there are few examples. And the examples that are included are printed in small thin blue type on a yellow background. I practically needed a magnifying glass to read them. Second, the sequencing of the issues to address in a decision seemed to be out of order. For example, gathering information is mid process. For many decisions, gathering a little information will resolve the whole issue. You may only need to run a small experiment, or take a measurement to know the answer. Third, the text was confusing and apparently contradictory. In some places, top-down meant authoritarian and not delegating. In other places, top-down meant delegating. Fourth, although sophisticated techniques like scenario building are included, they are misdescribed. The purpose of multiple scenarios is to identify the paths that leave you better off regardless of the environment you encounter. See The Art of the Long View for more on that topic.
Frankly, I was disappointed in this book. It is not up to the usual high DK standard. If you have had no introduction to how to structure decisions, you will definitely be helped by it. There is a shortage of simple decision-making books for business people, so I cannot suggest an alternative.
After you finish this book, I suggest that you think about great business decisions that you have seen made. Can you identify the steps that preceded the decision? When would those steps be relevant in your work?
If you want to read about better decision-making in your personal life, I strongly recommend Smart Choices. That is a remarkably good decision-making book.
May you always place your attention and your thoughts where they will bear the most fruit!