Business Matters
Money Matters!

Basic, Comprehensive, and Informative

  • May 29, 2006
Rating:
+5
This is one title in the "Guide to..." series published by Profile Books Ltd. in association with The Economist. In this specific volume, written by Tim Hindle, the reader is provided with a remarkably lucid explanation and (brief) discussion of more than 200 basic business concepts which range from Activity-Based Costing to Zero-Base Budgeting. I especially appreciate the fact that Hindle cites those knowledge thinkers who are most relevant to a given concept. For example, Robert Kaplan and the balanced scorecard, Clayton Christensen and innovation, and Peter Schwartz and scenario planning. I also appreciate the fact that Hindle includes a "brief history" section and "recommended reading" with each entry among a variety of reader-friendly devices. . (The concepts are listed in alphabetical order. For that reason, more a quibble than a complaint, I wish he had also included at least a few cross-references to relevant concepts he discusses elsewhere in the volume.) As Hindle explains, he wrote this book primarily "as a short introduction to the main management concepts which have determined the structure and style of organizations over the past century"

Initially, he limited himself to 100 "greatest management ideas" but as his research progressed, he increased the number in response to the greater scope and depth of what his research revealed. The reader is indeed the beneficiary of that adjustment. Knowledge management is one of several subjects of special interest to me. Hindle begins the brief discussion of it with this quotation from Peter Drucker:

"The typical business [of the future] will be knowledge-based, an organization composed largely of specialists who direct and discipline their own performance through feedback from colleagues, customers and headquarters. For this reason it will be what I call an information-based organization." (1988)

Hindle then suggests four initiatives which can improve a company's knowledge management:

1. Capture information
2. Generate ideas
3. Store information
4. Distribute information

Obviously, no head-snappers among them. Indeed, note the absence of determining the most urgent information needs, and, the absence of evaluation which converts information (data) to intelligence (knowledge). His recommended readings do not include any works by Peter Senge and mentions only one of Thomas Davenport's articles, none of his immensely valuable books.

That said, it is important to keep in mind that Hindle's purpose is to provide a basic introduction to each core concept, not a definitive explanation of it. Judged on that basis, his book (published in 2002) succeeds quite well. Many of those who read it may recover coverage of certain general subjects in much greater depth. To them, I now presume to suggest these sources: Business: The Ultimate Resource (to such several dozen knowledge leaders contributed, published by Perseus), Stuart Crainer `s The Management Century, Joan Magretta and Nan Stone's What Management Is: How It Works and Why It's Everyone's Business, and just about anything written by Peter Drucker.

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About the reviewer
Robert Morris ()
Professionally, I am an independent management consultant who specializes in accelerated executive development and breakthrough high-impact organizational performance. I also review mostly business books … more
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Wiki

Hindle has selected 100 of the most significant ideas that have had an influence on the way businesses are run. These range from the balanced scorecard and benchmarking, via economies of scale and e-commerce, to the virtual organisation and theories X and Y. There is a summary of each as well as a selection of the best literature on the subject. (Kirkus UK)--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Details

ISBN-10: 186197423X
ISBN-13: 978-1861974235
Author: Tim Hindle
Publisher: Bloomberg Press

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