Philip Whiteley's Blog

January 14, 2011

Welcome back, Simon

Filed under: Uncategorized — felipewh @ 2:26 pm

Just a quick blog to welcome Simon Caulkin’s return to the public domain, 18 months after his shocking dismissal as management correspondent for the British Sunday paper, The Observer. He has launched a website, including an extensive archive.

The Observer, part of The Guardian group, and supposedly a liberal paper, made a spectacular display of editorial incompetence. It shelved its coverage of governance and management just as the scandals and failings in this area became a matter of urgent importance. The collapse of risk management in the banks; corporate manslaughter in the NHS at Stafford and Maidstone; repeated institutional crises at other public bodies, and failures of mergers and acquisitions all have a common base in a deeply flawed, mechanistic approach to management. This cult has favoured the short-term over the long term; restructuring over leadership capability; targets over quality. No one exposed this more forcefully than Simon, who identified how organisations had become servants to leaders, when it should have been the other way around.

Still, with Simon to offer subscriptions (only £25, a bargain), and with the dismal Observer/Guardian losing readers faster than Silvio Berlusconi heading for a pole dancer, who knows? Perhaps his website is the better business model.


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