No Image Available


Read more from TrainingZone

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1705321608055-0’); });

Institute of Management ‘in a week’ series reviewed


Title: Institute of Management "in a week" series
Author: various
Publisher: Institute of Management/Hodder & Stoughton
Format: Paperback
Price: £6.99 per title

Following my review of the IM's "Understanding Body Language in a week" I have now had chance to look at several more titles in the series. Covering subjects as diverse as appraisals, business planning, developing diversity, managing your boss, presentations, team-building and TQM the series offers almost 80 "in a week" titles and seven "Business Checklists" (at £8.99 each).

My overall opinion is that the "in a week" style of book falls somewhere between an interesting read and a frustrating whiff of what you really need to know. Whilst I have not read all of the series I suspect that the more successful ones cover smallish topics, able to be realistically tackled in the week and 70-100 pages allowed, and those, such as NLP, which are knowledge rather than skills based. The titles briefly reviewed here are:

Successful Marketing: A very brief primer which may give some useful information and sow a few ideas but could hardly serve as the starting off point for any serious marketing activity. Whether the companion volume on marketing planning and the marketing and strategy checklist add more flesh to the bone I don't know. However, I think that this slim volume poses the key question regarding just how far one can go "in a week". Certainly, in my experience of marketing (as both a practitioner and a CIM trainer) a week and 80 pages could hardly scratch the surface of any of the topics discussed.

Understanding Business on the Internet: A little more useful than the above as it covers a smaller topic which is easy to get to grips within a fairly knowledge based way. Even so, Sunday to Wednesday are taken up with explanations of the very basics such as how to log on, using search engines, sending e-mail etc, so precious little time is left on the three remaining days to actually think about if and how e-business could work for you. Companion volumes covers Intranets and Information Overload (both unseen).

Successful Web Sites: Certainly one of the best in this bunch. It doesn't attempt to teach readers to use html coding or WYSIWYG web design programmes, but instead gives some useful advice on how to go about designing, planning and launching a site. In this way the book aims to give you pointers to help make sure that you get the important bits right (site purpose and objectives, it's content, features, utility and promotion etc) rather than getting embroiled in the "techie" side of html, flash and java script (and it does make the re-assuring point that you don't have to have a ponytail to author web pages).

Understanding Neuro-Linguistic Programming: Again, a knowledge-based title. This means that the rigid seven-day format can easily be overthrown in the face of a long train or plane trip (or even a lazy Sunday read). And this is probably the best way to treat this subject. Love NLP or not, this title gives a useful insight into the subject and some "practical and thought provoking" exercises to try at work and home. But beware, NLP is sometimes a pretty deep subject and not always to everyone's taste!

Project Management: This is pretty useful introduction to an increasingly vital skill... how to set up, manage and complete a project of any size (the book offers putting a man on the moon and choosing a new coffee machine as the two ends of the continuum). The book clearly describes the different stages on projects and as importantly defines the role and duties of the project manager in ensuring success. It also offers some fairly basic, but nevertheless useful, project management tools, as well as making brief reference to IT solutions. It closes with a description of the personal qualities of a good project manager and a checklist of what outputs they should deliver.

This review submitted by Neil Wellman of NetWork Associates.


Get the latest from TrainingZone.

Elevate your L&D expertise by subscribing to TrainingZone’s newsletter! Get curated insights, premium reports, and event updates from industry leaders.


Thank you!