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The Leader's Guide to Radical Management: Reinventing the Workplace for the 21st Century
Stephen Denning

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Format: Hardcover, 336pp.
ISBN: 9780470548684
Publisher: Jossey-Bass
Pub. Date: October 25, 2010

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Description and Reviews
From The Publisher:

A radical new management model for twenty-first century leaders

Organizations today face a crisis. The crisis is of long standing and its signs are widespread. Most proposals for improving management address one element of the crisis at the expense of the others. The principles described by award-winning author Stephen Denning simultaneously inspire high productivity, continuous innovation, deep job satisfaction and client delight. Denning puts forward a fundamentally different approach to management, with seven inter-locking principles of continuous innovation: focusing the entire organization on delighting clients; working in self-organizing teams; operating in client-driven iterations; delivering value to clients with each iteration; fostering radical transparency; nurturing continuous self-improvement and communicating interactively. In sum, the principles comprise a new mental model of management.
  • Author outlines the basic seven principles of continuous innovation
  • The book describes more than seventy supporting practices
  • Denning offers a rethinking of management from first principles
This book is written by the author of The Secret Language of Leadership—a Financial Times Selection in Best Books of 2007. From the Inside Flap

"This is a book about a radically different way of managing. . . . It leads to workplaces that are more productive and more fun. These workplaces feel different."
—from the Introduction

In this provocative book, Stephen Denning introduces the seven principles of radical management, along with more than seventy supporting practices. Radical management focuses the entire organization on the goal of constantly increasing the value of what it offers to its clients, not merely producing goods or services or making money for shareholders. The seven interlocking principles comprise a new mental model of management: focusing the entire organization on delighting clients; working in self-organizing teams; operating in short client-driven iterations; delivering value to clients with each iteration; fostering radical transparency; nurturing continuous self-improvement; and communicating interactively. The principles and practices simultaneously inspire high productivity, continuous innovation, and deep job satisfaction, and result in surpassing client expectations.

Rather than offering a quick fix for today's complex workplace problems, radical management rethinks the nature and purpose of management. It addresses the questions: "What is good? Who is it good for? Is it good for the organization? Is it good for those doing the work? Is it good for those for whom the work is done? Is it good for society at large?" At the very foundation is open communication. Managers and workers must communicate interactively, using authentic narratives, open-ended questions, and deep listening, rather than treating people as things to be manipulated.

The principles and practices outlined in this book create a work environment that lifts up the human spirit and inspires the exhilaration of extraordinary performance.


"This masterful book is a delight to read—articulate, provocative, and illuminating. Success is about surpassing expectations, and Denning does so here. This isn't merely radical, it's revolutionary!"
—Peter Guber, CEO, Mandalay Entertainment Group

"This is a wonderful book. It's like having an extended conversation with Steve Denning, who is one of today's most acute and creative critics of traditional management thinking. You would ignore the ideas in this witty, candid, and erudite book at your own peril. Denning shows how to reinvent management based on a more accurate and effective understanding of how humans work best together. This book makes a great text for any extended discussion about how we should be doing things."
—Laurence Prusak, author, Working Knowledge and What's the Big Idea?

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About the Author

Stephen Denning is a leading writer who consults with organizations in the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Australia on leadership, management, innovation, and business narrative. In 2009, he was a visiting fellow at All Souls College, Oxford University, U.K. He is the author of The Secret Language of Leadership—a Financial Times selection in Best Books of 2007, and a 800-CEO-READ selection as the best book on leadership in 2007.

Table of Contents

1Management Today
2A Brief History of Management
3What Radical Management Means
Part One: The Seven Principles Continuous Innovation
4Principle #1: Delighting Clients
5Principle #2: Self-Organizing Teams
6Principle #3: Client-Driven Iterations
7Principle #4: Delivering Value to Clients in Each Iteration
8Principle #5: Radical Transparency
9Principle #6: Continuous Self-Improvement
10Principle #7: Interactive Communication
Part Two: Implementation
11A River of Cascading Conversations
Appendix: Summary of Radical Management Practices
About the Author

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