Business management methods post Enron, Marconi, WorldCom, Arthur Andersen and a host of other famous names, have been found wanting. New approaches to the future conduct of business are sought. Evidence of continuing improvement driving sustainable performance is now being recognised as more important than demands to meet arbitrary targets by whatever means at whatever cost.
Greed, deception and malpractice have in recent years assumed dominant influence in too many organisations to be seen as just accidents of judgement. The celebrity status of over-indulged CEOs, the negligence of incompetent directors, and the sacrifice of countless workers when savings were needed, are all aspects of a way of doing business that can be viewed as equivalent to 'economic-terrorism'. Such incidents are the direct evidence of failed leadership. They contribute to the undermining of society, the fragmentation of viable social systems and the destruction of personal security. Even technology has lost its shine as its real contribution to business efficiency is increasingly questioned against a backdrop of numerous high profile computer and software failures.
The legacy of late 20th century business practice emphasises the need for a new style of leadership and a new way of managing. Both will need to rely on mastering the 'first metre' issues of trust, clarity of expression, profound knowledge and pragmatic know-how that are the essential precursors of 'last mile' performance. Without regard to the vital importance of co-operative working within competitive markets ideas about sustainability and excellence will be no more than spinning illusions.
This book introduces the reader to the principles and practices that underpin the new way of management that has as its main purpose long-term sustainable 'economic-quality' and profit making as opposed to arbitrary targets, short-termism and profiteering.