Management Today

Articles from September

An Upturn That Hasn't Turned Up
It is not just the consumer who is cautious about splashing out on long-term acquisitions, says David Smith. Businesses, too, appear to be waiting for the feel-good factor before making serious investments The most discussed economic topic this year...
A Skilled Workforce Is the Target
To quote the departing director general of the CBI, Howard Davies, `Competitiveness is a term which has passed from academic jargon to cliche without moving through an intermediate stage of meaning.' The buzz word of the '90s has received a great deal...
A Smoke Signal to the Investor
Across Europe the advertising blitz is reaching a new intensity. One day it's maps of city centres with a smoking section marked off in heavy black lines; the next, contemplation of the brevity of Pythagoras' Theorem against the 24,942 words of EU legislation...
Big Is Best; Best Is Brum
Aside from right-wing challengers and disgruntled back-benchers, it must have been the gruelling length of the recession and the apparent difficulty with which British companies are struggling to emerge from it that has tormented John Major more than...
Business Warms to Europe
Reports of our Euroscepticism have been greatly exaggerated. Management Today's poll of its readers' views on Europe revealed an overwhelmingly positive attitude among Britain's business community. The response was impressive, with replies coming from...
Can't Pay, Won't Pay, Must Pay
Julius Caesar noted that the natives of the island lying north of Gaul subsisted upon the flesh and milk of their cattle - or, as he wrote, `lacte et carne vivunt'. The Britons, along with the Roman Empire's other subjects, were taxed accordingly. This...
Concentrate on Keeping Control
Diversity needn't mean disaster, says Robert Heller, providing those at the top realise that managing it means restricting themselves to ensuring control - with a light rein - instead of trying to command The toughest test for executives is managing...
Equal Opportunity to Learn
Should the training of men and women be segregated? The very idea sounds politically incorrect to a degree - enough to induce cries of outrage from any self-respecting feminist. Nevertheless, women-only courses are by no means a rarity and some say they...
Good Value at Boots
`We are are not university professors,' David Thompson, group finance director of Boots, remarks while explaining the analytical purity of his company's decision-making processes. But the newcomer to Boots' spacious 300-acre campus headquarters at Beeston...
Howard Davies
Clever man, Howard Davies. After stints at the Foreign Office, the Treasury, McKinsey's, the Audit Commission and the Confederation of British industry, this month he starts at the Bank of England as deputy governor at only 44. He is, you would imagine,...
How to Handle the Russian Bear
The disintegration of the Soviet Union brought to an end a vast, bewildering cultural kaleidoscope: an amalgam of republics, territories, races, religions and credos that made up the world's largest political union. Its demise, however, draws our attention...
Lego's Billion-Dollar Brickworks
As if the world of royalty were not sufficiently hallucinatory, HM The Queen will have a new mirage which to contend come nextspring. Her majesty has presumably managed to come to terms over the past 30 years with the fact that her view north from Windsor...
Paperless Companies?
Over the past decade and more, UK companies concerned about their often dismal internal communications have generally turned to newsletters for an answer. More than 4,000 of these publications get chumed out these days, from glossy monthlies to xeroxed...
Regional Reinvention
England has 11 Urban Development Corporations - public bodies set up with government backing (and funds) to help regenerate run-down areas by bringing land and buildings back into use. One of the main ways the UDCs operate is to encourage businesses,...
Robb Backs His Own Horse Sense
The day starts early on the Lambourn gallop where John Hills, the racehorse trainer, is gathered with a cluster of patrons. Among them is John Robb, whose eyes focus expectantly on a posse of young racehorses working in pairs. As they breast the rise...
Tailor-Made for the Masses: Will Customers Be Satisfied with One-to-One Marketing Methods?
Recent developments in computer hardware and software allow marketers to direct individual messages to individual consumers. Could this mean the end of mass marketing? Yes, according to some prophets. In future, they argue, a company will aim to create...
The Case of the Missing Eleven
The problem with these new management types is that they just don't understand the basis of our financial system,' complained one number-crunching type at a recent number-crunching convention. `I mean they're all very well at all those soft management...
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Remember the spaghetti western? There was never any doubt that Clint Eastwood was the good guy. Tall, dark and handsome, a man of few words and as tough and uncompromising as his villainous rivals, he was always going to be a winner. He was the one who...
The Highs and Lows of Pension Transfers
Despite the furore surrounding the misselling of personal pension policies it would be a mistake to believe that all pension transfers are wrong. The problem is how to work out when a transfer is the better option. Since 1st January 1986 anyone leaving...
Where's the Need for NEDs from Overseas?
A couple of years ago headhunters Whitehead Mann carried out a survey of major British companies with foreign non-executive directors on their boards. Some 40% of the respondents already had one or more NED from overseas, and 44% of the rest had plans...
Who Lets Pay Run Away?
Crispin Odey is 36 years old. Last year, he received a salary of 19.5 million[pounds]. Odey does not work for British Gas or a privatised water or electricity company. He is a fund manager, holding shares in those companies. Not surprisingly, Odey can...