OHSU management expert details how leaders can maintain integrity in the workplace
A new book by an OGI School of Science & Engineering professor offers unique steps for enlightened management
PORTLAND, Ore. – Slippery accounting, shady business deals, excessive salaries for corporate executives, and increased public scrutiny. These are difficult times to be a manager.
But it is possible for managers to maintain their integrity while balancing work with family, education, fitness, civic and charitable activities. That’s according to a new book, “The Conscious Manager: Zen for Decision Makers,” by Fred Phillips, Ph.D., one of the Northwest’s leading management authors ($16.95, 147 pages, ISBN 1-58151-079-9).
Phillips is professor and head of the management in science and technology in the Oregon Health & Science University’s OGI School of Science & Engineering, which is based in Hillsboro, Ore. He said his students kept telling him that they needed and wanted concrete skills for withstanding ethical pressures.
“My students, most of whom are working full time while going to school, want to be able to stay true to their good character and not get crushed by runaway corporate cultures, or the confusing lack of company culture we sometimes see at high-technology firms,” said Phillips. “Younger business people, especially, are hungry for a better way to manage their professional and personal lives, and are looking to their instructors to help them find an answer.”
The Conscious Manager: Zen for Decision Makers details the 14 characteristics of a conscious manager and the six steps (hunger, practice, opening experiences, support, tests, and mission) to a Zen path of responsible decision making for practitioners and non-practitioners alike. Combined with practical exercises and question-and-answer sessions, they offer a startling and powerful — yet simple — solution to the troubling issues that people face when making decisions.
According to The Conscious Manager: Zen for Decision Makers, the principle of non-attachment can help people discover how to live satisfactorily in a high-speed world. The book shows how non-attachment, when applied to everyday decisions, can make managers and employees happier, lead managers to a clearer understanding of thorny issues and difficult people, and help leaders make speedier decisions with less anxiety and fewer regrets.
“There is a lot being written now about spirituality in business and increasing academic focus on intuitive decision making,” said Phillips. “Some of it is too narrowly dogmatic, New-Agey or anecdotal. I wanted to show that spirit and intuition in decision making have a firm basis in Zen psychology and that they can truly help American managers in the 21st century.”
Phillips has both impressive business and martial arts experience upon which to base his book. He worked for a New York market research company for more than 12 years, becoming vice president and taking a division of the company to Texas. He also worked for General Motors and was a business consultant. He joined OGI in 1995 and helped build the Management in Science and Technology program into one of the Northwest’s premier master’s programs for people focused on scientific and high-technology disciplines. Phillips has a fifth-degree black belt in aikido and teaches Zen martial arts in the Portland area. “This book is a must read,” said Glenn Miyataki, Ph.D., president of the Japan-America Institute of Management Science, which is based in Honolulu, Hawaii. “It balances an inner spirit with the realities of management decision making. The concepts are clearly presented and will inspire the reader to a higher level of management. Its impact is immediate.”
Phillips is the author of the textbook “Market-Oriented Technology Management: Innovating for Profit in Entreprenurial Times,” and associate editor of the bimonthly journal, “Technological Forecasting & Social Change.” He lives in Beaverton, Ore., with wife, Sue, and daughter, Gina.
ABOUT OHSU’S OGI SCHOOL OF SCIENCE & ENGINEERING The OGI School of Science & Engineering (formerly the Oregon Graduate Institute of Science & Technology) became one of four schools of the Oregon Health & Science University in 2001. The OHSU OGI School of Science & Engineering has more than 100 full-time and adjunct faculty, and more than 300 master's and doctoral students seeking degrees in five academic departments. In addition, there are 300 students taking for-credit courses, but not seeking degrees at this time. Each year the school's Center for Professional Development enrolls more than 1,000 working professionals who take not-for-credit classes. For more information about the Department of Management in Science and Technology at OHSU’s OGI School of Science & Engineering, go to www.ogi.edu/MST.