Timeless Management by Alan Coppin and John Barratt

Timeless Management as a concept looks likely to deliver for all interested parties. Beginning with the often quoted and much maligned “results are always achieved by people”, the authors proceed to make sense of much of the already accepted modern management processes. They challenge us to view all our interactions as keys to success. We are asked to really view people as the true key to success and not progress technology alone.

Timeless Management
By Alan Coppin and John Barratt
Publisher: Palgrave
Pages: 230, Price: £19.99, ISBN: 0333 98080-8 Reviewed by Patrick Walsh
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By cleverly using historic examples as diverse as Oliver Cromwell, Queen Elizabeth I and Sir Christopher Wren, we are encouraged to understand and learn from their often misinterpreted actions. We are urged to learn from their success and apply quite simple but proven techniques in our own work as well as our personal lives. Modern assumptions on managing change are given a new spin by drawing on examples currently being used in five royal palaces.

Managers of all types of teams and organisations will certainly benefit from this unusual but straightforward, common sense approach. Much of the book can be used as a ‘How to…’ manual. Writing with wisdom based on years of experience, the authors encourage us to avoid ‘flavour of the month’ management fads in dealing with performance problems. Some of the most interesting and useful aspects of this book are the toolkits and self-assessment questions within most chapters. These are very practical tools to use in reflection and at the planning stages.

The book brings together much of the current thoughts on leadership and the authors consistently stress that as we chose our own leaders, we seek out and judge their values, integrity and moral courage.

Written in an easy and flowing style, Timeless Management is an excellent and inspired read, and it is doubtful that anyone in today’s changing world would not learn something useful from it.

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Patrick Walsh is HR manager for Cara Irish Housing Association. He has recently read Making Mergers Work: The Strategic Importance of People by Jeff Schmidt

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