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

— Henry Mintzberg

The most proven Henry Mintzberg quotes that will inspire your inner self

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


When the world is predictable you need smart people.

When the world is unpredictable you need adaptable people.


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.


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.


Organizations are communities of human beings, not collections of human resources


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


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


Strategy is a pattern in a stream of decisions


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


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


Strategic planning is not strategic thinking.

Indeed, strategic planning often spoils strategic thinking, causing managers to confuse real vision with the manipulation of numbers.


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.


About Henry Mintzberg

Quotes 56 sayings
Profession Author
Birthday September 2, 1939

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


Strategy making needs to function beyond the boxes to encourage the informal learning that produces new perspectives and new combinations... Once managers understand this, they can avoid other costly misadventures caused by applying formal techniques, without judgement and intuition, to problem solving.


Organizations should be built and managers should be functioning so people can be naturally empowered. If someone's doing their job, if someone's working in one of your warehouses, say, they should know their job better than anybody. They don't need to be 'empowered,' but encouraged and left alone to be able to do what they know best.


What we call a financial crisis is really at its core a crisis of management, and not just a crisis of management, but a crisis of management culture. ...In other words, what you had is a detachment of people who know the business from people who are running the business.


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.


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


Five coordinating mechanisms seem to explain the fundamental ways in which organizations coordinate their work: mutual adjustment, direct supervision, standardization of work processes, standardization of work outputs, and standardization of worker skills.


The prime occupational hazard of a manager is superficiality.


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.


Corporations are economic entities, to be sure, but they are also social institutions that must justify their existence by their overall contribution to society.


I describe management as arts, crafts and science.

It is a practice that draws on arts, craft and science and there is a lot of craft - meaning experience - there is a certain amount of craft meaning insight, creativity and vision, and there is the use of science, technique or analysis.


So technologies, whether it is a telephone or an iPhone, computers in general or automobiles, television even, all individualize us. We all sit in front of our iPhones and communicating but are we really communicating?


Theory is a dirty word in some managerial quarters.

That is rather curious, because all of us, managers especially, can no more get along without theories than libraries can get along without catalogs and for the same reason: theories help us make sense of incoming information.


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.


If the private sectors are about markets and the public sectors are about governments, then the plural sector is about communities.


We have great managers who havent spent a day in management school.

Do we have great surgeons that havent spent a day in surgical school?


Everyone is against micro managing but macro managing means you're working at the big picture but don't know the details.


An unsuccessful manager blames failure on his obligations;

the effective manager turns them to his own advantage. A speech is a chance to lobby...a visit to an important customer a chance to extract trade information.


Most of the time, strategies should not be formulating strategy at all;

they should be getting on with implementing strategies they already have.


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


What I have against M.B.A.s is the assumption that you come out of a two-year program probably never having been a manager - at least for full-time younger people M.B.A. programs - and assume you are ready to manage.


This obsession with leadership... It's not neutral; it's American, this idea of the heroic leader who comes in on a white horse to save the day. I think it's killing American companies.


No generalizing beyond the data, no theory.

No theory, no insight. And if no insight, why do research.


Why does every generation have to think that he lives in the period with the greatest turbulence?


We find that the manager, particularly at senior levels, is overburdened with work. With the increasing complexity of modern organizations and their problems, he is destined to become more so. He is driven to brevity, fragmentation, and superficiality in his tasks, yet he cannot easily delegate them because of the nature of his information.


Technologies tend to undermine community and encourage individualism.


While hard data may inform the intellect, it is largely soft data that generates wisdom.


That is the trouble with flying: We always have to return to airports.

Thank of how much fun flying would be if we didn't have to return to airports.


To 'turn around' is to end up facing the same way.

Maybe that is the problem, all the turning organizations around.


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


Data don't generate theory - only researchers do that.


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.


The real challenge in crafting strategy lies in detecting subtle discontinuities that may undermine a business in the future. And for that there is no technique, no program, just a sharp mind in touch with the situation.


Anecdotal data is not incidental to theory development at all, but an essential part of it.


An obsession with control generally seems to reflect a fear of uncertainty.


Management and leadership are not separate spheres.

The two skills work together in the larger realm of “communityship.


It is time to recognize conventional MBA programs for what they are - or else to close them down. They are specialized training in the functions of business, not general educating in the practice of management.