Henry Mintzberg shares the essence of 'Managers Not MBAs'

Published: 21 June 2004

Henry Mintzberg shares the essence of Managers Not MBAs and praises McGill's support of innovative thinking

In a recent book launch, surrounded by friends, relatives, colleagues, and alumni and supporters of McGill, Henry Mintzberg gave an engaging talk about his innovative approach to management. A video of the talk is now available on the web (Media Player format).

Mintzberg read some passages from his latest book, Managers Not MBAs, a sweeping critique of management education and its effects on management practice. He described true leadership as engaging, not heroic.

"We don't need heroes in positions of influence any more than technocrats. We need balanced, dedicated people who practice a style of managing that can be called engaging. Such people believe that their purpose is to leave behind stronger organizations, not just higher share prices. They do not display hubris in the name of leadership."

He also explained how he, with colleagues from around the world, developed a set of innovative programs to address the issues he raises in the book.

"A group of colleagues and myself, from Canada, England, France, India and Japan, have spent the better part of the last decade bringing these intentions to life," he explained. "We did not wish to create just another program or even just a novel one. We set out to change the course of management education: to showcase an approach suited to the serious education and development of practicing managers. The attainment of knowledge and the enhancement of competences are important, but we wanted our program to go beyond these, to help people become not just more effective managers but wiser human beings — more thoughtful, more worldly, more engaging. The result is the International Masters in Practicing Management."

This, in turn, has inspired the development of a series of path-breaking programs, such as the McGill-McConnell Program for Voluntary Sector Leaders, the Advanced Leadership Program, and the upcoming International Masters for Health Leadership.

In his talk, Mintzberg recognized the McGill Faculty of Management's uniqueness. "McGill is a great place that supports the scholarship and attitude that I call for in the book. McGill is the source of an enormous amount of innovation. I would argue that it is probably the most advanced business school anywhere in the world in terms of all the new things that are happening. The range of innovative programs that are available at McGill is probably wider than at any business school, anywhere."

Mintzberg closed his remarks with praise for McGill's tolerance. "Nobody ever questioned the nature of this book, which I don't think would have happened in any other business school. I don't think I could have done the things I did in my career without McGill's support and the atmosphere McGill creates."

Henry Mintzberg is one of the world's most distinguished contemporary management authors. Professor at McGill University, where he is currently Cleghorn Professor of Management Studies, since 1968, Mintzberg is recognized worldwide for his innovative thinking in management. He was named one of the top 10 management thinkers in the world by the Financial Times and has been called "one of the most original minds in management" by Fast Company magazine.

Managers Not MBAs book reviews and related articles can be found on the Mintzberg site.


For more information or if you would like to report an error, please web.desautels [at] (subject: Website%20News%20Comments) (contact us).

Back to top