Centre for Knowledge, Innovation, Technology and Enterprise

Little Heresies Seminar Series-16

Heresy #16: Everything we Know about Management is Wrong

Heretic: Simon Caulkin, a business writer (8 Dec 2016).

Simon Caulkin is a business writer who for 16 years was management columnist for The Observer. He has written widely for the the national and business press and previously edited the UK monthly Management Today. He was the Industrial Society's industrial journalist of the year for 1997, won a prize for the best management article of 2004 and was the Work Foundation's 2009 columnist of the year. He continues to write at simoncaulkin.com.

Simon's heresy topic focussed on: Management sort of works. Supermarkets are mostly stocked, and trains get there, eventually. But despite a steady supply of fads and fashions, it doesn’t work very well, and its discontents are mounting. So, in a non-exhaustive list, big organisations are pretty unpleasant places to work; companies and managers are neither liked nor esteemed; unlike humans, corporate lives are becoming shorter, not longer; returns, like innovation, are in long term decline; in short, as has become all too clear in the continuing aftershocks of the Great Crash (itself a catastrophe made entirely in management suites and boardrooms) our organisations can no longer provide for our economic and social needs, as they have done in the past.