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The Co-op’s mistake was to detach responsibility from power

The test of an organisational structure is not how it handles success but how it copes when things go wrong.

Britain’s ‘great leap forward’ was start of nuclear power failure

British technological failures have been compounded by a political phenomenon I have come to think of as “great leap forward syndrome”. The idea is that the best way to compensate for stumbles and missteps is to move, at one bound, ahead of the field.

Directors have a duty beyond just enriching shareholders

British law might have said that the duty of directors is simply to promote the interests of the company’s members. But it doesn’t – and that is no accident.

The brashness and bravado in big deals

Commercial decisions often reflect policy-based evidence, not evidence-based policy. Doing the deal is what matters; justification comes afterwards.

Take on Wall St titans if you want reform

Effective banking reform should aim at structures, not at intensified supervision. Resilient systems are simple ones.

Why do we need to pay billions of pounds for big projects?

The argument that we need the best and latest is powerful in political decision making, even among people who would never behave that way in their everyday lives.

‘Not on my watch’: applies to banks and the navy

Casinos attract greedy people with deficient ethics: the fear this engenders frames regulation, the obligations we impose on executives and the culture we expect from operating companies. Perhaps banks should operate to standards as high as those of casinos.

Lessons in history for Rebekah Brooks

By the time Stephen Byers could slip from one cabinet post to another without taking responsibility for any of the blunders that seemed to happen wherever he was in charge, ministerial accountability had been replaced by T.S. Eliot’s cat: “When a crime’s discovered, then Macavity’s not there.”

Drugs companies have lost far more than their health

When an industry model is broken, the best business strategy may be to manage its decline.

Those at the nucleus may not have the best view

People in the middle of events often know less about them than those watching from the outside, which is why interviews with senior business figures inform us about what these people think rather than what is happening.