ATD Blog

Management Maturity...Twenty Keys to a Winning Culture

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Yet another management book? Yes, but with differences:

This one is Practical,


              Is Directly Usable,

has Real World Examples & Illustrations.

And it is applicable to all levels of management, in any setting.


Hiring, Interviewing, and Evaluating Performance Reviews

Mentoring and Training

Meeting Do’s and Don’ts

Office Relationships

Who Gets the Credit?

Dealing with Under-Performers




Lower the Cultural Boundaries

Watch those Match-Ups!

Trust Building

Feature the Benefits

Budgeting Downfalls

Efficiency and the Vital Signs

Know Your Achilles Heel

Quality: What and How?

Flexibility and Constraint

Growth Traps

Difference, Conflict, Competition

Issues in Your Environment

It is a Management Book that deals with Fundamentals and builds upon them.


Management is an all-encompassing responsibility, and involves many facets, including the functional processes and procedures, the products and/or services delivered, the financial aspects as well as the everyday challenges that arise in the normal course of events in any and all organizations. But the most important function of management is that involving people.

Award-winning Professor A. Keith Barnes -- a former senior executive in a Fortune 500 corporation – reveals to readers of this book, using accessible language and compelling examples and illustrations, the basic ways managers at every level can improve their human organizational effectiveness. Then, building on these fundamentals, he expands into a variety of important approaches that can, when consistently practiced, encourage high levels of commitment among employees, leading to a Winning Culture.

Dr. Barnes insists that management is essentially all about people, simply because it is only through the efforts of people that anything actually gets accomplished. The dynamics of human interaction, cooperation, support and interdependence, dealing with difficulties arising at the interfaces because of boundary differences, can either enhance the vital processes or impair them. How key people deal with these challenges is critical in building mutual and broadly-based trust. Mutual trust is a critical precondition for the sharing of goal-setting and goal attainment, sharing rewards and disappointments, and it is the key actors in any setting and at every level that must be the lynchpins to success in this regard.

Modern world technologies and the many complications and pressures associated with them tend to obscure the nature and existence of these interpersonal challenges. Budget pressures, competitive realities, rapid changes in the marketplace (any marketplace) serve to divert managers from focusing on the organization as a human dynamic system. It is people, working together, who can and will solve or prevent problems, minimize the negative effects of things going wrong. It is people who must therefore cohere, mutually committing to superordinate goals, setting aside personal differences and petty politics, turf battles and other bases for distraction or indifference. Leadership is the answer, but it must be shared in ways that do not undermine authority or lead to confusion, or uncertainty.

Effective Management, a new manual published by ASTD shows readers how to build this kind of culture. In twenty short and readable chapters, you will learn the ways in which you can build a coherent and committed workforce of people who strive together, who are proactively and creatively successful… they become Your Winning Culture.

Read the words of praise from readers of this book on the following page.

“Having read many business & management books, and taken much of value
from most of them, I urge managers at every level and in any setting to devour this one.”

Denny D. Dickenson. Entrepreneur & Motivational Psychologist

“Dr. Barnes does an exceptional job of condensing years of combined academic and professional experience into a superior management training tool delivered in just a few pages. The practical examples and easy-to-read explanations make this guide a must-read for all who care about effective management and a winning organizational culture.”        

Jeremy J Fitzgerald, Vice President, Managing Partner, Reboot Networks.

“Professor Barnes brings equal measures of rigorous scholarship and leadership experience to everything he delivers, and in this accessible book he provides simple, straightforward guidelines tempered with profound wisdom. It is a must read, and a perpetual reference to be followed by all who seek the goal of excellence in their organization.”       

Paula F. Newcomb, President VNB Trust, N.A.  

You won’t believe the wisdom packed into this book. Barnes’ approach will challenge anyone interested in creating a winning culture to evaluate their current practices and identify opportunities to improve. You will find yourself returning to the insights within this book time and time again.”

Luke Schrotberger, MBA, Business Performance Consultant

About the Author

A. Keith Barnes served as the S. V. Hunsaker Professor of Management at the University of Redlands in Southern California from 1984 to 1999, where he won awards for teaching and service. He authored the academic book Management Maturity: Prerequisite to Total Quality Management and more than 60 articles and monographs on a wide variety of business subjects. He holds a doctorate in organizational management and an MBA, both from Pepperdine University. His undergraduate work was completed in England (mechanical engineering) and in Canada (psychology). Before becoming an academic, he was a senior executive with the J. I. Case Company, which was then a part of the Fortune 500 Company Tenneco.

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