Management in my mind is the activity of identifying, assigning, developing and applying resources in a pragmatic and practical way that achieves some sort of end objective.
The specifics of the resources can cover a broad spectrum of things spanning people, tools, materials and capital.
Effective management is the application of these resources with efficiency and resolve in pursuit of the overarching objectives, goals or mission of the individual, team or entity.
Science and art
Management is something that one can learn the theory of, but in some instances people are good managers without understanding any of the theory. So sometimes management can be considered a combination of art and science.
The study of management is a relatively new field and the process of management as a science is taught as a popular theme in programs like those taught in business schools.
The art comes to the appropriate application of the science, particularly when dealing with people and as previously mentioned, some people have a natural acumen for management.
Management doesn’t prescribe leadership, after all, you can manage something but lead nothing. You could also be the leader in the management of something, which implies you have skillfully mastered the art of management of that thing.
People learn through observation and experience. Some individuals absorb and interpret faster than others, which again works the combination of science and art.
Effective management of people is really more about understanding human behaviour. While there are theories aplenty on management and management styles, in the end, understanding people, what drives and motivates them, is probably a more effective approach to consider when thinking about how to manage people.
Theoretical managers may be moderately successful just applying the science of management but to really be a leader, there has to be experience and the artful application of that experience seasoned with science and theory.
Clinton Jones has experience in international enterprise technology and business process on four continents and has a focus on integrated enterprise business technologies, business change and business transformation. Clinton also serves as a technical consultant on technology and quality management as it relates to data and process management and governance. In past roles Clinton has worked for Fortune 500 companies and non-profits across the globe.