30 Incredible Henry Mintzberg Quotes

Henry Mintzberg is an internationally renowned academic author specializing in business and management. With more than 150 articles and fifteen books authored with his name, Mintzberg is most known for his thoughts on strategic planning in today’s time. Here is a look at some of the most notable Henry Mintzberg quotes.

“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.”

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

“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.”

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

“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.”

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

“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.”

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

“Learning is not doing; it is reflecting on doing.”

“Management and leadership are not separate spheres. The two skills work together in the larger realm of “communityship.”

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

“Management is more like orchestra conducting during rehearsals, when everything is going wrong.”

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

“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.”

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

“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.”

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

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

“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.”

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

“Organizations are communities of human beings, not collections of human resources.”

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

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

“Strategy is a pattern in a stream of decisions.”

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

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

“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.”

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

“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.”

“When the world is predictable you need smart people. When the world is unpredictable you need adaptable people.”

Henry Mintzberg goes on to discuss the principles of management at this interview with McGill University’s Karl Moore.

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