Management Today

Articles from January

A Little Goes a Long Way
You're a niche manufacturer. You make a narrow range of highly specialised equipment, and you're largely dependent on one huge public sector buyer. Comes the recession. The customer, in the throes of reorganisation anyway, suddenly has no money...
Beating the Boredom Factor
Are conferences worthwhile and enjoyable? Britain's executives seem agreed, in the words of one that, 'They're like the curate's egg -- good in parts.' At worst they can be boring, poorly targeted and overpriced. But even real sceptics such as...
Brown Down to 7m. Pounds Sterling P.A
Poor old Bill Brown. The age of austerity has finally caught up with the fast car-and turf-loving chairman of Walsham Brothers, the Lloyds broking firm. With a 1989 salary of 8,136,274 pounds, or 22,291 pounds a day, Brown earned the enviable title...
Dinosaur's New Lease on Life
Few company bosses enjoy the confidence of the City as much as Peter Davis, chairman of publishing group, Reed International. He is in that rare position of seemingly being unable to do any wrong. When he unveiled a slump in half-year profits recently,...
Feeling Green without Envy
Remember The Good Life? It was the '70s sitcom about self-sufficiency in Surbiton and 15 years on it still makes Britain laugh. While today we may feel good using lead-free petrol or visiting the bottle bank, most of us still think of Tom and Barbara...
Forward with the Best Factories
The Management Today Best Factory Awards have in recent years provided a unique focus for the acknowledgment of outstanding achievement in manufacturing. Throughout its history, the magazine has always counted the promotion of high standards in British...
Hail the Big Swiss Concept
Managers look brilliant when the economy booms and bleak when it bleeds. Hence the Japanese, marching from one soaring peak to the next, have naturally come to embody new standards of excellence. The Briton, stumbling from bust to bust, must in contrast...
Hear the Good News
Judging by the doom-mongering on the economic front, businessmen could be tempted to the nearest window-ledge. But while life is a grim battle for survival for many, all is not lost on the economic front. Recovery, however hesistnt, may actually be...
Next, the Feeling Material
Nature's designs are subtle, complex and, in engineering terms, flawless. Designers have in the past borrowed ideas extensively from the living world, but the practice seems to be falling into disuse with engineering research now focused on taming...
Peter Bonfield
Peter Bonfield is waiting for the question. For 20 minutes he has fidgeted in his chair, leaning forward, leaning back, tugging at the four-button cuffs of the Yves St. Laurent jacket purchased (as all his clothes are) by his wife, straightening it...
Picking the Spot
It is late October 1990. Sky, the troubled satellite television company is alive with rumors. Debts are piling up, sales are lower than projected and all of its key staff have disappeared. Has Rupert Murdoch finally thrown in the towel? Perhaps...
Power, Pride and Prejudice
The current era in which we live is bringing new opportunities for everyone and not least for women. Advances across the whole spectrum of society have been so rapid in the last 20 years, let alone the last 100 years, that it is difficult to estimate...
Showing Off
Three years ago the Fleet Motor Show was a major date in Britain's exhibition calendar as Nigel Lawson's consumer boom swung with full, unstoppable, momentum. Wembley was crowded with buyers from a company car was the badge of success to 'Thatcher's...
Smiths Forge Ahead
London's leafy suburbia is hardly the first place you'd look for the forging of Britain's industrial revival. But set amidst the dentists' and doctors' surgeries, the solidly respectable 1920s housing and local Sainsbury's, is the headquarters of...
Sparing a Couple of Bob
Flotsam continues to rise in the wake of the leaky ship Maxwell. Not all of it has the baleful effect of the missing pension funds but it will still be of interest ot chroniclers of the big man's eccentricities. Sharp-eyed readers with long memories...
Straws in the Finland Wind
Remember the Peterborough effect? The late Roy Kinnear would clank round our television screens in his legionnaire's armour, extolling the 'effect' on the list of multinationals who had invested in the Fenland town. As a campaign, it worked brilliantly....
Ten Kindly Lights Amidst the Encircling Gloom
Be positive, the editor told me. Let us hear something about the British economy's plus points for a change. You economics writers aren't really cheerful unless the rest of us are miserable. Ouch! So much for my careful, constructive criticism....
The CBI Report No Businessman Should Be Without
Few will shed many tears for 1991. It was a year of rising unemployment, falling expectations and disenchantment. Names that dominated the commanding heights of manufacturing -- Rolls-Royce, Vickers, British Aerospace, Hawker Siddeley, Pilkington...
The Company at Home in a Hole
Measure the scale of an industry simply by the weight of material it produces, and aggregates - the quarrying of sand, gravel and stone - easily ranks as the biggest in Britain. Its output runs at a rate approaching 300 million tonnes a year even...
The Pauls Raise a Phoenix
'I like to take the credit for making the British steel industry fashionable again. I bought what everybody wanted to get rid of and made it profitable. In those days, 1983/84, nobody wanted to touch steel. They thought we were crazy. But I had...
The Weavers' Yarn
You get a better class of production-line pin-up girl in Ulster. On mainland shopfloors, the favoured icon is the gibbous Samantha Fox. In the Belfast weaving sheds of Ulster Weavers, by contrast, this year's model is Elizabeth: getting on a bit, 65,...
When a Founder Founders
When Robert Maxwell went to meet his maker, it wasn't just Peter who measured his worth. The impact of his death on the share price of his two public companies was no less dramatic, as bankers and shareholders weighed the scales. Liberated from...
Where Euro-Zeal Pays Off
Iveagh House, on St. Stephen's Green in the heart of Dublin, was handed over to the nation by the Guinness family in the 1930s, and is now the elegantly marbled home of Ireland's Department for Foreign Affairs. Each autumn the foreign minister, including...
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