Every once in a while there is a book that gets you to question norms and rethink some of the actions that we take for granted as best practices. A few years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting author David Burkus in a workshop that explored The Myths of Creativity, his first book, and was hooked on the out of the box thinking that David was bringing to challenge assumptions we hold in business. Since them, I’ve been a fan of his leadership radio podcasts and articles and today I’m excited to be reading his new book, Under New Management.
Under New Management has me rethinking many of today’s norms in business leadership. Through his new book, David uses research, case studies and exploration into a wide range of organizations and industries and turns commonly practiced and ingrained cultural leadership practices on their heads and examines the unintended and often negative consequences that many create. His goal? To reinvent how we think about management and ultimately how companies are managed.
As a leadership coach, I often reflect on and get curious about many of the management processes that businesses use to create engagement and accountability, help people be productive and efficient, and ultimately reach their organizational goals. Most of the practices he explores we take for granted and don’t consider beyond “how its done”. I appreciate David offering insight into the history of how many of our common management practices came to be and the variety of case studies he offers to explore what works and what doesn’t. His case studies range from well-known organizations like Zappos, Netflicks and McKinsey but also lesser known successful organizations. He doesn’t just rely on history and theory either; he gives practical application for how you might apply these new ideas to your organization and recognizes that what works for one might not work in the same application for your company. While the concepts he explores range from outlawing email and putting employees first to paying people to quit, making salaries transparent and closing open offices might seem radical and against the status quo of best practices, he gives real insight and research into why you might want to rethink these practices.
To add the icing on the cake, not only is Under New Management filled with insightful, practical and tactical information, David Burkus has a gift of using story to help engage you and make this a leadership book that’s an enjoyable and engaging read you’ll want to pass on to everyone on your leadership team.
If you want to explore new thinking and learn to implement new ways of enhancing productivity and morale, read Under New Management.