A Tribute to William Oncken, Jr.

onckenPencilWilliam Oncken, Jr. (1912-1988) created the Oncken proprietary training programs including the famous Managing Management Time™ seminar with his legendary “monkey-on-the-back” analogy.

He was born in Buffalo , New York and graduated from Princeton in physics. Prior to and during World War II
he worked under Dr. H. D. Smythe on the Manhattan Project, and as a Naval officer at the Naval Ordnance Laboratory in Washington DC . At wars end, he interviewed his counterparts in the Japanese military to document their technical advances during the War.In 1947 he traded in his uniform for a civilian suit and remained at the Pentagon holding a series of high level positions. In 1956 he was recruited away from government by private industry where he was in charge of organizational planning and development for a leading east coast corporation. Mr. Oncken was also a principal member of the staff of Richardson, Bellows,Henry and Company, a New York management consulting firm. He resigned in 1960 to establish his own consulting business.

Mr. Oncken was a regular lecturer in general management at leading universities from coast to coast, and was a popular keynote speaker at national conventions. He was also a faculty member of the National University of the Young Presidents Organization.

"Through the years, Mr. Oncken wrote many articles that appeared regularly in national and trade periodicals and were widely distributed by universities, corporations, associations and government agencies through their executive training programs. His most highly recognized article, Management Time: Who's Got the Monkey?, was published in the Harvard Business Review (in collaboration with Donald L. Wass, Nov-Dec 1974 issue). This article, which is an edited excerpt of Mr. Oncken’s copyrighted seminar, Managing Management Time™, has become one of the most-requested reprints in the history of the HBR and declared a Harvard Classic.”

Among his published works is a collaborative work with Ken Blanchard, and Hal Burrows where elements of The One Minute Manager and Managing Management Time™ are were illustrated in the popular book: The One Minute Manager Meets the Monkey.