In 1981, Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson published The One Minute Manager. It is one of the best-selling and most translated business books of all time. Since then, Blanchard has published many variations on the subject. All of these begin with a fable, followed by specific applications, concepts, and teaching points that are relevant to the story.
So, it was interesting to see that last week, another version of this book cracked the Wall Street Journal best-selling business book list (September 17-18, 2016). The New One Minute Manager (William Morrow, 2015) came in at # 10 on the list.
Like its predecessors, the book begins with a fable. However, it acknowledges changes in the work environment that were not present or profound in 1981. These include the role of technology, limited resources, globalization, instant communication, and structured markets.
Blanchard, (pictured to the right) who typically publishes a new book each year, is also the founder of the best-selling leadership program in the marketplace, entitled SL-II. Johnson (pictured to the left) is an M.D., and has authored more books on aspects of management than medicine. His most famous is Who Moved My Cheese, about organizational change, which Randy Mayeux presented at the First Friday Book Synopsis in Dallas a number of years ago.
I am personally tired of the “fable followed by learning” content of business books. They served their purpose, and we should move on. But, obviously I am in a minority. Readers still have an appetite for them, as evidenced by the status of this book one year after its publication.