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Not Knowing scoops national management book award as it demonstrates how to turn uncertainty into opportunity

CMI | Chartered Management Institute

3 min read Partner content

Steven DSouza and Diana Renner scoop top award at CMI Management Book of the Year

The Chartered Management Institute (CMI) last night urged managers to embrace uncertainty, as it made Steven D’Souza and Diana Renner’s Not Knowing CMI’s ‘Management Book of the Year’ for 2014.  In an age of fast-paced change and data overload, the book smashes the orthodoxy that managers can – or should – be all-knowing and challenges leaders to think differently to succeed.

The award, which is run in association with the British Library and sponsored by Henley Business School, is judged by a panel of the UK’s top business and management leaders. Steven D’Souza and Diana Renner’s book, published by LID Publishing Ltd, won the Commuter’s Read category before being chosen as overall award-winner.

Diane Lees, Director-General of the Imperial War Museum and CMI competition judge, explained why the book impressed the judging panel:

“Managers can feel huge pressure to know everything and to always have the answer to a problem. This book goes against the grain and offers reassurance that ‘not knowing’ can be a force for good decisions, as it allows for open questions and curiosity.

“This book could inspire managers to rethink how they tackle all sorts of complex challenges, and how they approach business planning. It challenges the reader to think deeply about themselves and ask questions, which in turn will allow for better and more informed decisions to be made.”

Commenting on their success, winning authors, Steven D’Souza and Diana Renner, said:

“The inspiration for the book comes from our own lives, from our own stories and from those who have shared their stories with us from around the world. We dedicate this book to anyone who’s been to the edge. We wrote it in honour of courage, curiosity and compassion and hope it inspires managers to take their teams into the unknown.”

Ann Francke, chief executive of CMI, which runs the competition said:

“The managers who succeed in the 21st century economy are those who learn to embrace change and uncertainty, not fight it. This book shows why and should have managers asking themselves some big questions about how they lead. CMI’s Management Book of the Year is all about finding the ‘Management Gold’ that really makes a difference, and that’s exactly what this book does. If you only read one management book this year, make it this one.”

Phil Spence, Chief Operating Officer of the British Library, which supports the competition, said:

“The winner of this year’s competition reflects the need for impartial advice and information in the sometimes uncertain journey of a manager or business leader.

“We at the British Library specialise in providing practical support and information to the business and management community through channels like our Business IP Centre – now being extended to city libraries across the UK - and our Management and Business Studies Portal. We were thrilled to celebrate the best of management writing in all five categories of the competition at the 2015 awards ceremony held at the British Library last night.”

Launched in 2010, the CMI Management Book of the Year competition was created to uncover some of the best books on management and leadership, and help raise the profile of the great management writing published in the UK.

The Commuter’s Read category is awarded to the entry that, in the opinion of the judges, will best serve commuters and retain their attention during a journey to work by inspiring them, informing them about and engaging them with a management and leadership topic.

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