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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.

Wall Street play for which we pay

At the medieval courts Shakespeare described, the exercise of power was not a means to an end, it was itself the end. The political and economic environment has been transformed. But human nature has not, and the factors that drive powerful men today are little different from those that drove them five centuries ago.

Cutting costs so often leads to cutting corners

Today’s managers are victims of the tyranny of the quarterly earnings report. And that is why yesterday’s cost-savings are so often today’s corporate crisis.

Beware the cult of the heroic chief executive

The modern cult of the heroic chief executive is at the root of the problem. Greater shareholder activism may help, but the most valuable restraint would be more effective checks and balances within the company itself.

How to stay ahead of the angry brigade

Most people dislike confrontation, and, given time, an aggressive minority will find itself alienated. Meet the reasonable demands, and appear to treat the unreasonable ones with seriousness; always engage in discussion, however futile.

When a bonus culture is just a poor joke

Teachers and doctors strongly resist the introduction of a bonus culture: not just because they resent measurement of performance and accountability for their activities – although they do, and with little justification – but because they oppose importing the culture of assembly lines.

The cash comes second

The richest men are not the most materialistic. Nor has it ever been otherwise.

Regrets? Everyone should have a few

To learn from mistakes, you must first acknowledge them.

Leaders who pander to public opinion lose respect

There is a difference between repeatedly engaging in actions you believe will make you popular, and demonstrating the qualities of leadership that prompt people to vote for you.

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