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The One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson

The original, bestselling blockbuster which has transformed businesses world wide. This easily-read story quickly demonstrates three very practical management techniques: One Minute Goals, One Minute Praisings and One Minute Reprimands.

The One Minute Manager also includes information on several studies in medicine and in the behavioural sciences, which help readers understand why these apparently simple methods work so well with so many people. The book is brief, the language is simple, and best of all … it works.

 

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

According to Steven R. Covey, to live with security and wisdom, and to have the power to take advantages of the opportunities that change creates, we need fairness, integrity, honesty and human dignity. Quite a tall order when you consider that most of us live our lives in a permanent state of flux, questioning our ideals and values and fighting a daily battle with the lack of self-confidence that stops us from taking risks of any kind. But, in The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Covey manages to make it sound as if changing the way we look at ourselves and the world around us so that we can become more successful both personally and professionally an absolute doddle. He defines the “habits” as “the intersection of knowledge, skill and desire” and states that the “Seven Habits” of the title are not mutually exclusive, but rather when developed together help to form a well-rounded, sensitive, confident and effective human being.

Fish! by Stephen C. Lundin

Here’s another management parable that draws its lesson from an unlikely source–this time it’s the fun-loving fishmongers at Seattle’s Pike Place Market. In Fish! the heroine, Mary Jane Ramirez, recently widowed and mother of two, is asked to engineer a turnaround of her company’s troubled operations department, a group that authors Stephen Lundin, Harry Paul and John Christensen describe as a “toxic energy dump”. Most reasonable heads would cut their losses and move on. Why bother with this bunch of losers? But the authors don’t make it so easy for Mary Jane. Instead, she’s left to sort out this mess with the help of head fishmonger Lonnie. Based on a bestselling corporate education video, Fish! aims to help employees find their way to a fun and happy workplace. While some may find the storyline and prescriptions–such as “Choose Your Attitude”, “Make Their Day” and “Be Present”–downright corny, others will find a good dose of worthwhile motivational management techniques. If you loved Who Moved My Cheese? then you’ll find much to like here. And don’t worry about Mary Jane and kids. Fish!has a happy ending for everyone.

Our Iceberg is Melting by John Kotter

This short book explains Kotter’s Eight Step Process for Change that he first described in more conventional form in Leading Change and then Heart of Change. It tells the story of a colony of penguins who eventually commit to abandoning the iceberg they have inhabited for generations.

This is designed as a more accessible format for the type of manager who would rather freeze on an ice floe than read a research-based management book such as Kotter’s original Leading Change. The authors researched how some of the key messages of Kotter’s work could be better communicated through story-telling and enhanced by good pictures.

The Stress Pocketbook by Mary Richards

Managing stress at work benefits both the individual and the organisation. This book contains practical advice on way of managing stress, and how to help others.
A faster and more user-friendly guide to stress management, the simple quick-fire descriptions of common workplace situations are useful, and the tone is light. Well worth keeping handy.