Our management Library
At Chester & Fields we are really proud of our management library of over 300 books. Therefore, it HAD to feature prominently, so we have created our “Study” to accommodate it. This is the room to go to when you want to enjoy your coffee together with a nice read. If you’re looking for something less “heavy”, we also have several newspapers, and a couple of business magazines too…
Marc Thys, co-founder began to put together my management library some 25 years ago, when I first got really interested in “how to make organizations more effective”. Today we have a nice range of over 300 volumes, going from strategy over marketing and operations to people development.
Marc: “At the time, there really was only one way to buy books: go to the bookstore, browse the shelves, and then shell out for whatever appeared to be interesting. My standard stops: WH Smith (now Waterstones) and of course, the FNAC that had just opened in the City 2 shopping center. One of the first ones was “In Search of Excellence” by Peters & Waterman, also one of the very first business bestsellers. It was the top New York Times non-fiction bestseller for several years in a row, and it took business literature mainstream pretty much by itself. Where before the large majority of business books were heavy, unreadable tomes by aging university professors, this one was a fairly quick read full of easily digestible advice and buzzwords. Plus the writers were flashy McKinsey consultants (still in suit and tie though)
They introduced an acronym that, for a while at least, was on everybody’s lips: “MBWA” or “Management by Walking Around” – how management should come down from the ivory tower and visit the workplace regularly, to listen, observe and discuss. (Today we call this idea “Gemba walks”… So that’s nothing new really!).
Although many of the companies they studied and called “excellent” have since found lesser fortunes, their idea that there are a limited number of distinctive factors that make a company successful was quite novel at the time and has been the topic of many heated debates, and of a slew of business books, ever since.
Plus it allowed Tom Peters to start his own consulting company, and to sell many, many more books!
The book definitely also had a major impact on the consulting services market – creating a whole new field of “operational excellence“ practices, that has boomed considerably over the past 3 decades – the last couple of years mainly under the “Lean” banner.”
Our members get the opportunity to (re-) discover Tom Peters, but also to explore many other business greats such as Stephen Covey, Michael Porter, W. Edwards Deming, Kaplan & Norton, as well as contemporaries such as Clayton Christensen and Jeffrey Liker.