Management Today

Articles from February

A Fortune in Every Port
A FORTUNE IN EVERY PORT Associated British Ports seems an unlikely hero as the UK enters what promises to be a particularly severe recession. It represents part of the privatised remains of the British Transport Commission, with a significant presence...
A Line on the Best Phone: Many British Businesses Are Looking Forward to the Changes in the Telecoms Industry
A line on the best phone British Rail, the cable television companies, even British Waterways...barely a week passes without someone announcing plans to enter the UK's fast liberalising telecommunications market. Ever since Peter Lilley, the trade...
All Change at the Mint
ALL CHANGE AT THE MINT In the summer of 1984, a petty thief on the lam from the magistrates' court at Pontyclun, Mid-Glamorgan, decided to hide out in a light industrial complex sprawled on a hillside above the village of Llantrisant. Accordingly, he...
A Matter of Singular Importance
A matter of singular importance The year 1992 approaches but as more and more towns, cities, regions and individual businesses are starting to realise, not all problems are likely to be resolved by the provision of a level playingfield. As the barriers...
Animal Rights and the Scientists: During the Next Century Research into Genetic Modification Will Advance Markedly but Regulations Must Urge Caution
Animal rights and the scientists This month sees the publication of proposed regulations on the release of genetically modified organisms into the environment. These regulations, if too rigid, could hold back in Britain the development of a technology...
Another Day, Another Dollar - No 22,000 Pounds
Another day, another dollar -7 no 22,000 pounds Appeals for pay restraint go down like a lead balloon at 4 Fenchurch Avenue, home of Walsham Brothers, the top Lloyds insurance business. Chariman Bill Brown receives Britain's biggest ever annual salary,...
A Quick Return to Square One
A quick return to square one Did the deposed Prime Minister create a management renaissance on which her successor can hope to build? Or did the managerial economy, like the inflation rate, go back to where it was when she started in 1979? The first...
A Return to Business as Normal
A return to business as normal It was, famously, the men in suits who were involved in the dispatch of Mrs Thatcher. It is men in suits who have taken over now in Downing Street. John Major and Norman Lamont, his Chancellor, both qualify as 'suits',...
Banks Blooded and Bowed
BANKS BLOODIED AND BOWED After 35 years in banking, Peter Cooke is able to break all the rules. So when this former Bank of England chief supervisor pauses in his considered way, and then suddenly swings into a venomously funny fairy tale, it is easy...
Blenheim's Traveling Show: Has the Fast-Growing International Exhibitions Organizer Got What It Takes to Survive?
BLENHEIM'S TRAVELLING SHOW It's not often you see a board of beaming faces in the pages of an annual report. However impressive the company's results and promising the prospects, its directors habitually gather their features into expressions...
Boys Who Were Most Unlikely to Succeed
Boys who were most unlikely to succeed It's a funny old world indeed when lack of higher education is lauded as the chief virtue of our new PM. Actually, a brief glance at the history books would show that John Major is the sixth prime mover of the...
Caledonia's Duopoly: There Are Signs That the Old Rivalry between Glasgow and Edinburgh May Be Receding Slightly
CALEDONIA'S DUOPOLY Notwithstanding the ancient (and usually good-nature) feud between Edinburgh and Glasgow, there is a large population which seems to regard the two cities as something akin to Buda and Pest, part and parcel of the one conurbation....
Death of the Mainframe: An Ability to Move Swiftly with the Trends Is of Utmost Importance in a Changing Industry
DEATH OF THE MAINFRAME In the computer industry, today's success story can be tomorrow's has-been. Unlike more traditional industries such as automotive, fashion or food retailing, management can't be sure of the parameters along which its business...
Division over Dividends
Division over dividends The great British shell out is in danger of becoming a sell out, according to Paddy Linaker, head of M&G, the lean and hungry investment group. In a private lette to nearly 300 chairmen Linaker urged recession-hit firms to...
Experts in Communication: Mike Bett, Chairman of BT and a Companion of the BIM, Is Confident of the Benefits of His Organisation's Cultural Changes
Experts in communication British Telecom has been much in the press this year -- with attention centred on two major strands of change. One of these comes from outside the company -- the duopoly review which will shape the future of telecommunications...
Not a Revolution, More a Revival
Not a revolution, more a revival 'A brief period of golden years rather than a new era', is the verdict of Steven Bell, a senior economist with Morgan Grenfell, summing up the outcome of the Thatcherite revolution on British industry. With the familiar...
Number Plates to Printing Plates: Sir David Plastow, Who Directed the Rolls Royce/Vickers Merger, Makes an Odd Choice
Number plates to printing plates It must be tough pleasing Sir David Plastow. 'If anyone blames City short-termism in Vickers they're in trouble. There's no such thing. It's just an excuse for poor management.' On other matters, Plastow, Vickers...
Out of the Frying Pan, into the Fire: For Malta, EC Membership Could Lead to the Identity It Fought So Hard for Being Swallowed Up Yet Again by Its More Powerful Neighbours
Out of the frying pan, into the fire Europe is a frightening place for small countries. They used to be threatened by the territorial designs of their neighbours, fought over through the ages by a succession of conquerers, their independence constantly...
Overcoming Technofear: Despite the Popularity of Mobile Phones, Fax Machines and Electric Organisers, an Irrational Fear of Technology Is Still Quite Prevalent among Many Bosses
OVERCOMING TECHNOFEAR Hugh Hamilton used to be extremely wary of new technology. As a lawyer he spent most of his life working with pen and paper. so when his firm asked him in 1979 to find a replacement for its office accounting machine he avoided...
Succession: Who Will Inherit the Mantle When the Last of Britain's Grey-Headed Gang Are All Gone?
SUCCESSION The American comedian George Burns once remarked, 'Retirement at 65 is ridiculous. When I was 65 I still had pimples.' It's a view that some of Britain's leading businessmen seem to share. This January Lord Hanson is 69, his partner, Sir...
The Lucky Miller: How Shipton Mill Survived in the Exclusive World of Flower Making
THE LUCKY MILLER It looks as if the back-to-nature movement has run its course, for the time being anyway. A decade or so ago the British countryside -- particularly in those remoter regions where land was comparatively cheap -- seemed in danger from...
The UK's Hard Road to the Hard Ecu: Britain Has Joined the ERM, and Now the Next Big Step Is to Establish a Single Currency
The UK's hard road to the hard ecu In October 1990, after years of standing on the sidelines, Britain joined the exchange rate mechanism (ERM) of the European Monetary System. By October 1991, if present indications are anything to go by, a decision...
Unwilling to Take the Baton
Unwilling to take the baton? Clogs to clogs in three generations. That was always how wise Northerners regarded the likely rise and fall of a business dynasty. But for the likes of Lord Hanson, who recently enjoyed his 69th birthday, 67-year-old Bob...
Women on Their Metal (Women Engineers)
WOMEN ON THEIR METAL What is it about engineering? Of all the professions, it still has by far the worst record for recruiting women. While the likes of medicine, law and accountancy have succeeded in attracting equal or near equal numbers from both...