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Henry Mintzberg Quotes

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Henry Mintzberg Quote: “Management is, above all, a practice where art, science, and craft meet.”

Management is, above all, a practice where art, science, and craft meet.

— Henry Mintzberg



Henry Mintzberg Quote: “Strategy is a pattern in a stream of decisions.”

Strategy is a pattern in a stream of decisions.

— Henry Mintzberg


Henry Mintzberg Quote: “Learning is not doing; it is reflecting on doing.”

Learning is not doing; it is reflecting on doing.

— Henry Mintzberg


Henry Mintzberg Quote: “Leadership, like swimming, cannot be learned by reading about it.”

Leadership, like swimming, cannot be learned by reading about it.

— Henry Mintzberg


Henry Mintzberg Quote: “An enterprise is a community of human beings, not a collection of “human resources”.”

An enterprise is a community of human beings, not a collection of “human resources”.

— Henry Mintzberg


Henry Mintzberg Quote: “The real challenge in crafting strategy lies in detecting subtle discontinuities that may undermine a business in the future. And for that there is no technique, no program, just a sharp mind in touch with the situation.”

The real challenge in crafting strategy lies in detecting subtle discontinuities that may undermine a business in the future. And for that there is no technique, no program, just a sharp mind in touch with the situation.

— Henry Mintzberg


Henry Mintzberg Quote: “While hard data may inform the intellect, it is largely soft data that generates wisdom.”

While hard data may inform the intellect, it is largely soft data that generates wisdom.

— Henry Mintzberg


Henry Mintzberg Quote: “Strategy is not the consequence of planning, but the opposite: its starting point.”

Strategy is not the consequence of planning, but the opposite: its starting point.

— Henry Mintzberg


Henry Mintzberg Quote: “Never set out to be the best. It’s too low a standard. Set out to be good. Do Your best.”

Never set out to be the best. It’s too low a standard. Set out to be good. Do Your best.

— Henry Mintzberg


Henry Mintzberg Quote: “Managers who don’t lead are quite discouraging, but leaders who don’t manage don’t know what’s going on. It’s a phony separation that people are making between the two.”

Managers who don’t lead are quite discouraging, but leaders who don’t manage don’t know what’s going on. It’s a phony separation that people are making between the two.

— Henry Mintzberg


Henry Mintzberg Quote: “Basically, managing is about influencing action. Managing is about helping organizations and units to get things done, which means action. Sometimes, managers manage actions directly. They fight fires. They manage projects. They negotiate contracts.”

Basically, managing is about influencing action. Managing is about helping organizations and units to get things done, which means action. Sometimes, managers manage actions directly. They fight fires. They manage projects. They negotiate contracts.

— Henry Mintzberg


Henry Mintzberg Quote: “Strategic planning is not strategic thinking. Indeed, strategic planning often spoils strategic thinking, causing managers to confuse real vision with the manipulation of numbers.”

Strategic planning is not strategic thinking. Indeed, strategic planning often spoils strategic thinking, causing managers to confuse real vision with the manipulation of numbers.

— Henry Mintzberg


Henry Mintzberg Quote: “Five coordinating mechanisms seem to explain the fundamental ways in which organizations coordinate their work: mutual adjustment, direct supervision, standardization of work processes, standardization of work outputs, and standardization of worker skills.”

Five coordinating mechanisms seem to explain the fundamental ways in which organizations coordinate their work: mutual adjustment, direct supervision, standardization of work processes, standardization of work outputs, and standardization of worker skills.

— Henry Mintzberg


Henry Mintzberg Quote: “Effective managing therefore happens where art, craft, and science meet. But in a classroom of students without managerial experience, these have no place to meet there is nothing to do.”

Effective managing therefore happens where art, craft, and science meet. But in a classroom of students without managerial experience, these have no place to meet there is nothing to do.

— Henry Mintzberg


Henry Mintzberg Quote: “Empowerment is what managers do to people. Engagement is what managers do with people.”

Empowerment is what managers do to people. Engagement is what managers do with people.

— Henry Mintzberg


Henry Mintzberg Quote: “No job is more vital to our society than that of the manager. It is the manager who determines whether our social institutions serve us well or whether they squander our talents and resources.”

No job is more vital to our society than that of the manager. It is the manager who determines whether our social institutions serve us well or whether they squander our talents and resources.

— Henry Mintzberg


Henry Mintzberg Quote: “Everyone is against micro managing but macro managing means you’re working at the big picture but don’t know the details.”

Everyone is against micro managing but macro managing means you’re working at the big picture but don’t know the details.

— Henry Mintzberg


Henry Mintzberg Quote: “Organizational effectiveness does not lie in that narrow minded concept called rationality. It lies in the blend of clearheaded logic and powerful intuition.”

Organizational effectiveness does not lie in that narrow minded concept called rationality. It lies in the blend of clearheaded logic and powerful intuition.

— Henry Mintzberg


Henry Mintzberg Quote: “Data don’t generate theory – only researchers do that.”

Data don’t generate theory – only researchers do that.

— Henry Mintzberg


Henry Mintzberg Quote: “Companies are communities. Theres a spirit of working together. Communities are not a place where a few people allow themselves to be singled out as solely responsible for success.”

Companies are communities. Theres a spirit of working together. Communities are not a place where a few people allow themselves to be singled out as solely responsible for success.

— Henry Mintzberg


Henry Mintzberg Quote: “You can teach all sorts of things that improve the practice of management with people who are managers. What you cannot do is teach management to somebody who is not a manager, the way you cannot teach surgery to somebody whose not a surgeon.”

You can teach all sorts of things that improve the practice of management with people who are managers. What you cannot do is teach management to somebody who is not a manager, the way you cannot teach surgery to somebody whose not a surgeon.

— Henry Mintzberg


Henry Mintzberg Quote: “Technologies tend to undermine community and encourage individualism.”

Technologies tend to undermine community and encourage individualism.

— Henry Mintzberg


Henry Mintzberg Quote: “Anecdotal data is not incidental to theory development at all, but an essential part of it.”

Anecdotal data is not incidental to theory development at all, but an essential part of it.

— Henry Mintzberg


Henry Mintzberg Quote: “If you ask managers what they do, they will most likely tell you that they plan, organise, co-ordinate and control. Then watch what they do. Don’t be surprised if you can’t relate what you see to those four words.”

If you ask managers what they do, they will most likely tell you that they plan, organise, co-ordinate and control. Then watch what they do. Don’t be surprised if you can’t relate what you see to those four words.

— Henry Mintzberg


Henry Mintzberg Quote: “I describe management as arts, crafts and science. It is a practice that draws on arts, craft and science and there is a lot of craft – meaning experience – there is a certain amount of craft meaning insight, creativity and vision, and there is the use of science, technique or analysis.”

I describe management as arts, crafts and science. It is a practice that draws on arts, craft and science and there is a lot of craft – meaning experience – there is a certain amount of craft meaning insight, creativity and vision, and there is the use of science, technique or analysis.

— Henry Mintzberg


Henry Mintzberg Quote: “Management is a curious phenomenon. It is generously paid, enormously influential, and significantly devoid of common sense.”

Management is a curious phenomenon. It is generously paid, enormously influential, and significantly devoid of common sense.

— Henry Mintzberg


Henry Mintzberg Quote: “Corporations are social institutions. If they don’t serve society, they have no business existing.”

Corporations are social institutions. If they don’t serve society, they have no business existing.

— Henry Mintzberg


Henry Mintzberg Quote: “We’re all flawed, but basically, effective managers are people whose flaws are not fatal under the circumstances. Maybe the best managers are simply ordinary, healthy people who aren’t too screwed up.”

We’re all flawed, but basically, effective managers are people whose flaws are not fatal under the circumstances. Maybe the best managers are simply ordinary, healthy people who aren’t too screwed up.

— Henry Mintzberg


Henry Mintzberg Quote: “An obsession with control generally seems to reflect a fear of uncertainty.”

An obsession with control generally seems to reflect a fear of uncertainty.

— Henry Mintzberg


Henry Mintzberg Quote: “Strategy-making is an immensely complex process involving the most sophisticated, subtle, and at times subconscious of human cognitive and social processes.”

Strategy-making is an immensely complex process involving the most sophisticated, subtle, and at times subconscious of human cognitive and social processes.

— Henry Mintzberg


Henry Mintzberg Quote: “Strategies grow initially like weeds in a garden, they are not cultivated like tomatoes in a hothouse.”

Strategies grow initially like weeds in a garden, they are not cultivated like tomatoes in a hothouse.

— Henry Mintzberg


Henry Mintzberg Quote: “We have great managers who havent spent a day in management school. Do we have great surgeons that havent spent a day in surgical school?”

We have great managers who havent spent a day in management school. Do we have great surgeons that havent spent a day in surgical school?

— Henry Mintzberg


Henry Mintzberg Quote: “No generalizing beyond the data, no theory. No theory, no insight. And if no insight, why do research.”

No generalizing beyond the data, no theory. No theory, no insight. And if no insight, why do research.

— Henry Mintzberg


Henry Mintzberg Quote: “A leader has to be one of two things: he either has to be a brilliant visionary himself, a truly creative strategist, in which case he can do what he likes and get away with it; or else he has to be a true empowerer who can bring out the best in others.”

A leader has to be one of two things: he either has to be a brilliant visionary himself, a truly creative strategist, in which case he can do what he likes and get away with it; or else he has to be a true empowerer who can bring out the best in others.

— Henry Mintzberg


Henry Mintzberg Quote: “To ‘turn around’ is to end up facing the same way. Maybe that is the problem, all the turning organizations around.”

To ‘turn around’ is to end up facing the same way. Maybe that is the problem, all the turning organizations around.

— Henry Mintzberg


Henry Mintzberg Quote: “Why does every generation have to think that he lives in the period with the greatest turbulence?”

Why does every generation have to think that he lives in the period with the greatest turbulence?

— Henry Mintzberg


Henry Mintzberg Quote: “Theory is a dirty word in some managerial quarters. That is rather curious, because all of us, managers especially, can no more get along without theories than libraries can get along without catalogs and for the same reason: theories help us make sense of incoming information.”

Theory is a dirty word in some managerial quarters. That is rather curious, because all of us, managers especially, can no more get along without theories than libraries can get along without catalogs and for the same reason: theories help us make sense of incoming information.

— Henry Mintzberg


Henry Mintzberg Quote: “It is time to recognize conventional MBA programs for what they are – or else to close them down. They are specialized training in the functions of business, not general educating in the practice of management.”

It is time to recognize conventional MBA programs for what they are – or else to close them down. They are specialized training in the functions of business, not general educating in the practice of management.

— Henry Mintzberg


Henry Mintzberg Quote: “My feeling about executive bonuses is that any candidate for a chief executive job who even raises the issue of bonuses should be dismissed out of hand.”

My feeling about executive bonuses is that any candidate for a chief executive job who even raises the issue of bonuses should be dismissed out of hand.

— Henry Mintzberg


Henry Mintzberg Quote: “Most of the time, strategies should not be formulating strategy at all; they should be getting on with implementing strategies they already have.”

Most of the time, strategies should not be formulating strategy at all; they should be getting on with implementing strategies they already have.

— Henry Mintzberg


Henry Mintzberg Quote: “If the private sectors are about markets and the public sectors are about governments, then the plural sector is about communities.”

If the private sectors are about markets and the public sectors are about governments, then the plural sector is about communities.

— Henry Mintzberg


Henry Mintzberg Quote: “The prime occupational hazard of a manager is superficiality.”

The prime occupational hazard of a manager is superficiality.

— Henry Mintzberg


Henry Mintzberg Quote: “Corporations are economic entities, to be sure, but they are also social institutions that must justify their existence by their overall contribution to society.”

Corporations are economic entities, to be sure, but they are also social institutions that must justify their existence by their overall contribution to society.

— Henry Mintzberg


Henry Mintzberg Quote: “So technologies, whether it is a telephone or an iPhone, computers in general or automobiles, television even, all individualize us. We all sit in front of our iPhones and communicating but are we really communicating?”

So technologies, whether it is a telephone or an iPhone, computers in general or automobiles, television even, all individualize us. We all sit in front of our iPhones and communicating but are we really communicating?

— Henry Mintzberg


Henry Mintzberg Quote: “The idea that you can take smart but inexperienced 25-year-olds who never managed anything and turn them into effective managers via two years of classroom training is ludicrous.”

The idea that you can take smart but inexperienced 25-year-olds who never managed anything and turn them into effective managers via two years of classroom training is ludicrous.

— Henry Mintzberg


Henry Mintzberg Quote: “That is the trouble with flying: We always have to return to airports. Thank of how much fun flying would be if we didn’t have to return to airports.”

That is the trouble with flying: We always have to return to airports. Thank of how much fun flying would be if we didn’t have to return to airports.

— Henry Mintzberg

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