Author: Henry Mintzberg

Publisher: BK Publishers
ISBN: 978-1-5230-9878-1

Henry Mintzberg, author of Bedtime Stories For Managers, is the Cleghorn Chair of Desautels Faculty at McGill University of Montreal. (2019, p.5) His specialty is the healthcare industry. He has obtained over twenty honorary degrees and is an Officer of the Order of Canada. Bedtime Stories For Managers is his sixth to be published with BK Publishers. To learn more about Mr. Mintzberg please visit his website at

Mintzberg likens management to scrambled eggs which he takes from a flight on Eastern Airlines from Montreal to New York. (2019, paraphrase, p.7) He speaks about airline food, which is nearly a forgotten nuance these days. The food being served happened to be scrambled eggs, which are quite easy to prepare. He told the Flight Attendant that they were the worst he had ever had the displeasure of eating. The flight attendant agreed and said that they had been telling management that for a long time to which it obviously fell onto deaf ears because noting ever changed. Management was more focused on the load factors and financial statements than correcting something small that could, perhaps in retrospect, saved the airline from certain doom.

If everyone’s flaws come out sooner or later, then sooner is better, especially for managers. In fact, managers should be selected for their flaws as much as their qualities.” (2019, p.15) Management tends to see strengths, i.e. Sam is a wonderful communicator, Rudy is good at networking… To which Mintzberg adds, “There are really only two ways to know a person’s flaws: marry them or work for them.”

Mintzberg asks “How, then, do the new digital technologies, especially email affect this? … One thing seems certain; the capacity to communicate instantly with people everywhere increases the pace and pressure of managing – and likely the interruptions as well.” (2019, p.24) No longer is there any excuse for not knowing something almost as it occurs. “Internet connectivity has intensified managers’ orientation to action; everything is expected to be faster, immediate.” To which he adds that “Of course, more time reading on the screen and writing on the keyboard means less time talking and listening to people face to face.” I agree. “Email is limited to the poverty of words alone. There is no tone of voice to hear, no gestures to see, no presence to feel. Yet managing depends on this kind of information too.” (p.26)

There are many more arguments for how managers can become better at their jobs and examples of how to end up making better decisions as a manager that lead to more effective strategies and processes that if cultivated can help your organization be on top of their game. I enjoyed reading this book and believe you will too.