Management Today

Articles from August

Down and out Down Under
No-one, perhaps, better exemplifies the spectacular 'boom to bust and back again' story of Australian entrepreneurs than the podgy, Perth-based businessman Mark Povey. Still only 30, he was, in the words of one commentator, 'a typical child of the...
Fraternal Finances
Ken Gill, the unrepentant communist general secretary of the Manufacturing Science Finance union, who retires next year, should have some explaining to do to his 653,000 members. Under Gill's leadership, the union seems to require an inordinate amount...
Hanson Finds a True Friend in Need
Lords Hanson and White, these days awash in a sea of innuendo, will be glad to read some statistical backing for at least one of their claims of injustice. It is many an ordinary mortal's impression that the impressive profit growth of Hanson plc...
How IBM Went Off-Beam
IBM is to US business what the Statue of Liberty is to America - the proud symbol of its achievements and greatness. Will Americans find it any easier to accept harsh criticism of IBM when it comes from the company's own chief executive? In fact,...
How Oster Gained an Alpha
There is something endearing about Richard Oster, the 56-year old new chief executive of Cookson, the industrial materials group. A chubby, larger-than-life American, his appearance and heart-on-sleeve way of talking are terribly un-British. His...
If People Share, They Care
Industry has included a new word in its vocabulary as it strives to gain competitive advantage through quality. That word is 'own'. At many seminars, conferences and internal meetings, employees are encouraged to become 'part owners' of business...
In Pursuit of the Jaguar Man
Sir John Egan, framed by a vast panoramic view of Victoria station behind him, is scrabbling round his desk for a bit of marketing. 'Ah,' says the former motor industry boss now running Britain's biggest airports, 'here it is,' and comes back with...
Making a Start with the Future
It was H.L. Mencken, I think, who said that he never made forecasts -- especially about the future. He had a point. Forecasting the future is just about the most difficult of all managerial tasks -- second only, perhaps, to firing people. And firing...
Recipe for a World Beater
Let's launch a market leader, shall we? Let's found a world-class manufacturing company with an outstanding reputation for quality and innovation. Making consumer durables - gas cookers, perhaps. Obviously, the whole notion is absurd. Life's not...
Taken for a 28M Pounds Sterling Ride
'It's a very, very difficult question answer, that,' muses Geoffrey Thompson, managing director of Blackpool Pleasure Beach, benignly. 'Why do people go on our white-knuckle rides? Well, my own feeling is simply that we live in safe times. People...
The Boys with the Black Stuff
Aberdeen's primary schools have been sending in artistic illustrations of an oil platform for the Amerada Hess competition. 'Stop whaling the whales,' says one particularly right on, if rather muddled entry. Another boldly states: 'American Hess cares....
The Enhancement of Hanson
'It's a funny day. Your stockbroker rings up and says, "Hanson's going to bid! Can we represent you?" and you hear the cash registers start ringing.' It was July 10 years ago, the morning of the old Berec (Ever Ready) group's annual big bash. Chairman...
The Fight for Engine Power
In the aviation industry, the 1980s were unquestionably the decade of the small twin-engined jet. The Airbus Industrie A320 became Europe's top selling commercial jet while Boeing's 737, which nearly went out of production for lack of orders at one...
The Green Conundrum
The most subtle skill in the art of government is to identify dangerous forces as they gather, and then to absorb them so that their power becomes your own. Such political Tai Chi was used with particular effect on the green movement in the late '80s....
The Restyling of Delta
Sitting in his no-frills London office, Robert Easton, Delta's 42-year-old chief executive, recalls how he resisted the lure of a highly paid City job in the mid-1970s: 'I didn't feel that was real life.... Delta was a fascinating management challenge.'...
The Rise of Grey Power
The alarm rings again-six o' clock. John Grey climbs out of bed and puts on his slippers and, though it isn't cold, a thinck dressing gown. Downstairs, he had his usual breakfast: a mug of tea and a bowl of cornflakes. This quiet, well-organised...
The Task Ahead
Grey power rules the British boardroom as much as the cabinet room today. For John Major, read Michael Julien at Storehouse or Laurence Cooklin at Burton. This grey age may lack the glamour (Sir Ralph Halpern and 'Gorgeous' George Davies) and the...
Toyota, Honourable European
Politically, almost everything that will define 21st century Europe is still to play for. The debates over structure, defence, currency and the power of the institutions have barely been joined, let alone resolved. But industrially, economically,...
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