BOOKS: The book that shook Digby Jones

BOOKS: The book that shook Digby Jones - 'In the 'shaking stakes' it was a close run between my chosen book and Burrough and Helyar's Barbarians at the Gate. The latter left a lasting impression about the power of the personality to frustrate the best-lai

by DIGBY JONES, Director General of the CBI
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

'In the 'shaking stakes' it was a close run between my chosen book and Burrough and Helyar's Barbarians at the Gate. The latter left a lasting impression about the power of the personality to frustrate the best-laid plans.

But Michael Edwardes' Back from the Brink is about people, not finance.

It is the story of how the state-owned, strike-ridden, poorly managed monolith British Leyland was saved and then pointed successfully in the direction of the private sector.

It is easy to forget just what a politically motivated mess Edwardes inherited in the late '70s and what a cultural change he forced through, the battles he fought and the guts he and his team repeatedly displayed.

This book fascinated me, inspired me and, 20 years after I first read it, I still find it worth a dip whenever others try to put 'people' into a different group from 'business'. Or when politicians, or their advisers, stray into areas where their different agendas not only have the capacity to frustrate and delay, but where their actions can cost us all a fortune. Mind you, looking at the Dome, is that a lesson they'll ever learn?'

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

C-Suite parents share working at home tips

For many people, the home office is now also a home school.

How to manage remote teams (without becoming a Zoom pest)

Briefing: Former Waitrose boss Mark Price says managers will need to think about how they’re...

Could coronavirus lead to gender equality?

Opinion: Enforced home-working and home-schooling could change the lives of working women, and the business...

Mike Ashley: Does it matter if the public hates you right now?

The Sports Direct founder’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has drawn criticism, but in the...

4 films to keep you sane during the coronavirus lockdown

Cirrus CEO Simon Hayward shares some choices to put things in perspective.

Pandemic ends public love affair with Richard Branson et al

Opinion: The larger-than-life corporate mavericks who rose to prominence in the 80s and 90s suddenly...