Editor’s letter

Directors sit atop the organisational food chain. But are they leaders or predators? Role models or servants of vested interest? We know what they should be and, as Adèle Gautier points out in our cover story this month, “whenever corporate disaster strikes, responsibility rests with the directors – men (mainly) who are seldom visible until something goes wrong”. That ultimate responsibility rests with directors is as it should be. So are the best people appointed to the job, do they fully understand their role and where do they garner their knowledge and experience?
As the penalties for failing to properly discharge responsibilities increase so individuals take the job more seriously. But the role of the director should be more than pre-occupation with “how well am I covered if things go wrong?” good board and an outstanding chair invariably make an enormous difference to the overall performance of an organisation.
If the appointment of the chief executive is, as folklore suggests, the most important single decision board can make, how important is it that the board itself is up to the task? Gautier explores the issues with some successful servants of the board, chief executives of organisations that have not (so far) dropped the ball.
At the other end of the organisational spectrum things are changing too. The new face of unionism has emerged and with it very different approach to managing industrial relations. The transition in unionist caricature from cloth cap to mitre board, from male to female and the accompanying changes in legislation, market reality and economic responsibility are recorded by Mark Story in his feature, The New Face of Unionism.
And as another step in it’s almost 50 years of published evolution Management magazine also presents new face this month. We have tweaked the masthead, simplified the internal design and repositioned some columns and stories. We understand that presentation and design are important in today’s visual and time-critical world, but content is king. Management magazine has long and proud publishing history in business-to-business publishing but that is only relevant to the extent we build on it and each month deliver the stories that today’s managers and leaders need to “do their job better”. In the context of life as we know it, management and leadership are forever. We might not be around that long but we intend writing about the things that are important to leaders for long time yet.

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