Magazine article Management Today

The Task Ahead

Magazine article Management Today

The Task Ahead

Article excerpt

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 passion (Mrs Thatcher in full flight) of the '80s, but it provides a period for Britain to work out a political and economic destiny.

They grey men in business and politics must now nurse their companies and country back to health after the late '80s excesses. These excesses -- a spending spree and a cheerful living beyond one's means -- were indulgences of both the corporate sector and country. The cure is also common to both -- pruning, cutting overheads, re-trenchment.

But cautious grey rule alone is no long-term solution to the country's or corporate ills. The corporate greys, having hacked at the debt of their predecessors, must evolve long-term business strategies that move away from simple cash conservation.

The political greys must similarly think beyond getting out of the recession and present the public with a realisable vision.

Europe will be the key. British companies must make greater progress in forging alliances with Continental partners and with establishing plants in Europe. Privatised companies such as BT and BA must set the pace in enforcing liberalising and competitive cultures on the mainland.

To do this will require the energetic support and co-operation of the political grey-in-chief, John Major himself. …

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