Philip Whiteley's Blog

January 26, 2011

An award, and the media’s abdication …

Filed under: Uncategorized — felipewh @ 6:39 pm

Well, I didn’t win, but it felt like a win. Meet the New Boss was shortlisted for the inaugural Management Book of the Year Awards in the Digital Management Book category. Quite satisfying, for a self-taught author of a self-published book. The awards, in their first year, are organised by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) with the British Library.

Anyway, enough self-satisfaction. The event itself was excellent, with some thought-provoking speeches. Ruth Spellman, chief executive of the CMI,called for more positive news, describing how only leadership and entrepreneurship will get us out of economic crisis. ‘As UK plc tentatively emerges from recession we need to expose our managers to good ideas and innovative thinking. This rationale is at the heart of the CMI Management Book of the Year competition,’ she said.

In this context, it was sobering to hear from winner Richard Donkin, author of The Future of Work (congratulations, Richard) that there are now ZERO management correspondents at national media in the UK, where there used to be six. This, after the colossal institutional failures across the economy caused largely by faulty governance models and a flawed managerial ideology. Our national papers do not think that the single biggest cause of crisis is even worthy of discussion.

Take the banks. In a sane world, the discussion would be mostly about poor risk management, too much short-termism, a macho culture and reliance on the short-term, historic indicator of the quarterly report, that totally fails to indicate the sustainability of headline ‘growth’. Instead, reviews concentrate on the cosmetic factors such as the structure and the regulation of banking. It is as though politicians and regulators have put to one side reality, and picked up another agenda.

Started out talking about awards, seems I ended up on the soapbox again! Congratulations to the winners, thanks to the CMI and British Library!


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