In saying AG Lafley is “uniquely qualified” to lead Procter & Gamble – again – Jim McNerney, the board’s presiding director, somewhat understates the case.
Not only was Mr Lafley one of P&G’s most successful ever leaders between 2000 and 2009, he has literally written the book on how he achieved the corporate turnround – Playing to Win, co-authored by Roger Martin and published this year. But the record of chief executives who return to the top job is mixed: while there are benefits to bringing back the former CEO, there are pitfalls too. Read more
SAP’s striking decision to hire people with autism to programme and test its products has already generated some sceptical commentary from FT readers. But it should be welcomed, and not only by sufferers of the condition. Read more
Tony Hayward’s appointment as interim chairman of Glencore Xstrata last week marked his rehabilitation, three years after he told reporters “I’d like my life back”, following the fatal Deepwater Horizon explosion. Read more
In the three decades since Michael Bloomberg launched his electronic terminal to supply financial information and analytics, his company has been called many things: ambitious, competitive, brilliant, fearsome, relentless and totalitarian. Until now, it wasn’t known as stupid. Read more
Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement as manager of Manchester United gives the management world another example of how to bow out when you are, frankly, getting a bit elderly.
On this topic, we now have four great templates – the Pope, the Queen of England, Warren Buffett and Sir Alex – each of which could be applied by organisations whose leaders are grappling with questions about the frailty and mortality of their leaders. Read more
It is easy to forget. Most of us work in buildings where safety can largely be taken for granted, and fire drills are annoying disruptions in which a security official seizes the chance to talk loudly and repeatedly on the public address system, stopping us from doing any work. Read more
Arriving in Shenzhen last week, I saw a poster for a local company called Stylution. Multinationals have concocted a similarly awkward “stylish solution” to the problem of how to staff expansion in China: hire hybrid managers with a perfect mix of global and local experience. Read more
It’s 60 years since James Watson and Francis Crick published their model of the structure of DNA in the journal Nature. No better time, then, to eradicate the use of the expression by smug business leaders, as in “It’s in our DNA” or “It’s in the company’s DNA”.
The origins of its corporate use are a little obscure, but it may have started with Gareth Morgan’s 1986 book Images of Organization, which laid out eight metaphors through which people think about organisations, including as a machine, as a political system and as an organism – hence “organisational DNA”. Fair enough, but the use and abuse of the term has bloomed in recent years: I delved into the archive and found only about 100 instances of the two sentences above in the 10 years from 1995 (it does crop up in a 1996 Dilbert album – a sure advance warning that a phrase is becoming management-speak), but more than 550 in the past year alone. Read more