Management Today

Articles from November

Active Investors: File under A for Awkward
Shareholders who refuse to stay quiet in the face of an underperforming share price are on the increase - making life hell for UK management. Few chairmen could be better placed than Tony Greener at Guinness to talk about what it is like living with...
All Systems Are Go
Peter Senge's advocacy of the learning organisation helped begin a revolution in the workplace. And, the relevance of his message continues to grow When Peter Senge was young he wanted to be an astronaut. He even studied astronautics in college. But...
Are You a Software Thief but You Don't Know It?
End-users are much more prevalent than counterfeiters in the world of software piracy. End-users? Worryingly, it could be you. As Evan Cox sips his tea quietly in the London office of American law firm Covington & Burling, he appears an unlikely...
Beware Number Crunchers with Too Many Hats
Audit firms have expanded far from their roots. They now offer a range of tax, business and IT consultancy services which earn higher margins than traditional compliance work. As two giants, Coopers & Lybrand and Price Waterhouse, decide whether...
Beyond the Conversion Windfalls
The debate over whether building societies should remain mutual or convert to quoted plc status has generated much heat over the summer. Much of it has concentrated on the relative attractiveness of conversion windfalls compared with the supposed longer...
Boring Workplace, Boring Worker
One of the great advantages of art in Italy is that most of the paintings are still in the very places for which they were commissioned. They are frescoes, painted into the plaster as it dries, and frescoes are hard, if not completely impossible, to...
Britain's Top 100 Private Companies
Management Today's definitive guide to Britain's leading independent businesses with turnover ranging from [pounds]49 billion at the top to [pounds]95 million at 100. Britain's top private companies are powering their way out of the recession, with...
Bungey Takes a Jump and Cuts the Cord with Saatchi & Saatchi
Michael Bungey, creator of the Martini girl, is a happy man. From December, he will be free of Charles and Mattrice (now Lord) Saatchi - the advertising duo who for 11 years have had such an influence on his life. Bungey is the new chief executive of...
Classic Forget-Me-Nots
A good slogan can inspire you to buy one product rather than another, or prove extremely annoying. Some things are never forgotten. Along with the words to the Lord's prayer and the lyrics to the odd Beatles or Oasis song, one of those things is the...
Don't Be Fooled, Read the Rules
The ability to interpret a company's accounts is an essential investment skill and requires more than a simple understanding of accounting terms and techniques. Few people would expect accounts to show their subject in anything less than a flattering...
Don't Be Seduced by 'New Agers.' (Analysis of US Economic growth)(Smith on Economics)(Column)
Is stronger, sustained growth evidence of a new age for the US economy or, is this just a particularly rosy phase of an inevitable cycle? Perhaps the biggest economic talking point of this year was sparked off recently by Alan Greenspan, chairman of...
ESOP's Fable Becomes a Reality
Employee share ownership schemes can make a difference to performance - if they are combined with participatory management. Recent months have seen a resurgence of interest in employee share ownership. One reason is the election of the Labour government,...
Factories to Emulate
The winners of the Management Today/Cranfield School of Management Best Factory Awards provide ample evidence that Britain's manufacturers are once again a force to be reckoned with. With a strong pound and recession-bound continental European economies...
Lateral Benchmarking or ... What Formula One Taught an Airline
A growing number of companies are realising that in business, comparing chalk with cheese is not only a fruitful endeavour, but an increasingly necessary one. Dallas-based Southwest Airlines used to have a problem. Most of its aircraft were on the ground...
Lord Owen's Foreign & Commercial Office
Middlesex holdings has dealt in many things, from aluminium and steel to oil. Now, by venturing into the former Soviet Union it may well have struck gold. Lord Owen has come a long way since his days as foreign secretary in the '70s Labour government....
Niall FitzGerald
New objectives, a new management structure, successful businesses sold off - nothing is sacred, not even Lever Bros, the cornerstone of the business The Irish are coming. Gerry Robinson at Granada. Terry Leahy at Tesco. Peter Sutherland at BE Terry...
Not Many Happy Returns for GWR
Conceived as a link between Bristol and London, the Great Western Railway flourished after a shaky start, only to finally fall victim to the car's rise in popularity. Eurotunnel's hapless investors, had they opened their history books before their chequebooks,...
The Joys of Holding the Reins
You can sense it in the way he talks. On the horse and off it, Sir Alistair Grant is a man who likes to hold the reins. He didn't pick them up until he was 36. Not on a horse that is. By then the self-made son of a physiotherapist and former professional...
The Rolling-Contract: Gravy Train
As a practice, the rolling contract, with its guaranteed pay-off, makes failure highly profitable and shows little sign of abating. When Liam Strong finally departed as chief executive of the ailing retail conglomerate, Sears, in April, the immediate...
Think about How to Sell Your Product from Day One
Britain's small business sector is booming. In the first six months of 1997, nearly 270,000 fledgling enterprises opened their doors to customers for the first time - the first sustained rise since the late '80s. Sadly, however, a high proportion will...
Tread Softly on the Path to Flexible Working
With more manufacturers turning to flexible working practices, the competitive pressure on the laggards to follow suit grows ever more intense. But taking the workforce with you on the need to change is never easy. Case studies researched by the Institute...
Treat the Internet like Any Other Business Process
A recent Department of Trade and Industry report shows that over one-third of SMEs now use the Internet for business purposes. Look at your own business card. It probably has an e-mail address on it. Perhaps it has a web site listed too. If it hasn't...
Where to Float Your Company
Deciding whether your company should go public is difficult enough. Deciding the means of flotation is even more complex. Flotation is like marriage. If you aren't sure you're doing the fight thing, don't do it. The buildup may be exciting, but the...
Who's Afraid of the Mittelstand?
In spite of the recent strength of sterling, British SMEs need no longer fear Germany's legendary middle-market firms, when competing in the single market Everyone needs role models. Nobody has better service industries than the Americans. When it comes...
Who Will Take the Most Admired Company Crown for 1997?
Make no mistake, it really does matter what other people think about you - being popular may not be the most important thing in the world but it's certainly up there in the top five. Of course, this is as true in business as anywhere else and, naturally,...
Why Smith's Should Stay Together
It is tempting to believe that breaking up a company is the way to restore its fortunes. It worked for ICI, but will it work for WH Smith? Spectacular success in business normally results from outstanding feats. But not, one might think, if one is splitting...
Worth More Together ... or Apart?
An eventual demerger of Granada into its main constituents of hotels and media could be the last act of the partnership which created the giant. The share price has bounced back to pre-1997 levels, the [pounds]3.9 billion takeover of hotels group Forte...
You Don't Find Top NEDs on the Golf Course
Non-executive directors (NEDs) were once famously dismissed by Tiny Rowland as 'Christmas tree decorations'. But now, urged on by the Hampel Committee's emphasis on their importance for good corporate governance, NEDs are in much greater demand. So how...