Why Boardrooms are not all Rock ‘n’ Roll

My Financial Times column 11/1/10 In his autobiography, Life, Keith Richards describes three phases in the management of the Rolling Stones. The first was when the band was struggling to escape the scrum of other boy bands that sprang up in the wake of The Beatles in the early 1960s. For this, they hired Andrew Oldham,… Continue reading Why Boardrooms are not all Rock ‘n’ Roll

Lean start-up thinking for all

My Financial Times Column 10/25/10 Not so long ago, management theorists and manufacturing scientists drooled over Toyota. Its production system represented scientific management at its best, the climax of a century that began with Frederick Taylor’s time-and-motion studies, passed through Henry Ford’s River Rouge plant, Alfred Sloan’s General Motors and finally reached perfection in Toyota City,… Continue reading Lean start-up thinking for all

The value of hardship

My Financial Times column 10/18/10 These are rotten times to be graduating from school, undergraduate or graduate school and trying to find work. All that education, all those high-minded speeches about pursuing your dreams and inheriting the future and boom, smack into the worst economy since Tom Joad chewed the grapes of wrath. What solace… Continue reading The value of hardship

The winning tactic of cultural continuity

Published in the Financial Times 10/11/2010 The winning tactic of cultural continuity Philip Delves Broughton Assuming that Liverpool Football Club is sold to John Henry and his team from New England Sports Ventures, and that current owners, Tom Hicks and George Gillett quietly walk away from the club they have grievously mismanaged, what then? How… Continue reading The winning tactic of cultural continuity

Break the model on employee behavior

My Financial Times column 10/4/10 Break the model on employee behaviour Philip Delves Broughton If ever there were a moment for companies to be experimenting with how they organise and motivate their employees, now would seem to be it. Businesses are being yanked in every direction by the forces of recession, emerging markets and new… Continue reading Break the model on employee behavior

The Hollywood Boss is No Work of Fiction

My Financial Times column 09/27/10 The Hollywood boss is no work of fiction By Philip Delves Broughton In Money Never Sleeps, the just released sequel to Wall Street, Gordon Gekko tells us that “idealism kills deals”. It is the most pungent line in the film, and a bracing rejoinder to anyone who argues that business is about… Continue reading The Hollywood Boss is No Work of Fiction

When To Turn a Blind Eye to the Facts

My Financial Times Column 10/20/10 When to turn a blind eye to the facts By Philip Delves Broughton The good news from the Gulf of Mexico is that the worst predictions of environmental disaster after the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded are unlikely to be fulfilled. It’s still awful, but not as awful as first… Continue reading When To Turn a Blind Eye to the Facts

Beware the Superstar Chief Executive

My Financial Times column 09/13/10 The fascination of the Mark Hurd drama is that it contains all kinds of mysteries. A month after he was pushed out of Hewlett-Packard, we still don’t really know why. Was it because he fudged his expenses? Was it because there were questions about an inappropriate relationship with a female contractor?… Continue reading Beware the Superstar Chief Executive

An Old Fashioned View of Hoarding

My Financial Times Column 08/30/10 An old-fashioned view of hoarding By Philip Delves Broughton Until the credit crunch struck, companies that hoarded cash were viewed as thoroughly idle. They were the indecisive weaklings who should have been out acquiring, investing, returning money to investors and loading up the balance sheet with debt. Cash hoarders spoke of… Continue reading An Old Fashioned View of Hoarding