Magazine article The Spectator

The Price of Advice

Magazine article The Spectator

The Price of Advice

Article excerpt

I HESITATE to define a management consultant as somebody who borrows your watch to tell you the time and then walks off with it, for that line comes from Robert Townsend's anarchic masterwork Up the Organisation, and consultants live within organisations as mites live in cheese or bats in belfries. Dangerous Company, by James O'Shea and Charles Madigan (Nicholas Brealey, L18), is an account of the big names in action. In this country, the boys from Bain did a great job for Guinness until Guinness's chairman, Ernest Saunders, went to prison. In America, a cantankerous father and a son with big ideas gleaned, I would guess, from the airport bookstall school of management theory combined with Deloitte & Touche to turn their dull old Figgie International into a world-class manufacturer. …

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