I've seen and read lots of business books that ostensibly have significant insights into the role of management, but here in one sentence is the best summary I can think of. It comes from Dr. Stuart Rosenberg, who is CEO of our faculty practice, Harvard Medical Faculty Physicians at BIDMC:
"The only role of management is to create an environment where people left to their own devices and unsupervised are most likely to engage in behavior that advances the goals of the organization."
He elaborates in a second sentence:
"That means that people have the training, equipment, space, motivation, pay, understanding of expectations, sense of fulfillment and joy, and all the other things that will ensure that their behavior, the only thing that counts, is what we desire for the organization."
(Just as a reminder for those unfamiliar with makeup of many academic medical centers, HMFP is a separate corporation from BIDMC (the hospital), and it serves as the employer for the physicians on our faculty. Stuart therefore is a peer to me, the hospital CEO, and the two of us and our organizations must work with a great sense of interdependence and collaboration to create joint success. I feel very lucky to have a partner of his caliber as we carry out our public service mission together.)