'I became chairman of the Cadbury Group in 1965, when we were broadening our product range and expanding internationally. I was puzzling over how best to structure the company to take advantage of the new possibilities before it when I came across Alfred Sloan's remarkable book My Years with General Motors.
It remains the best book on organisation that has yet been written. Sloan drew on his lifetime of experience in industry to frame a set of managerial and organisational principles of universal application. He wrote: 'The approach of this book is to deal with business from the logical point of view, and to combine ideas with history.'
He discusses such issues as how to find the best route to market, how to link research with development, how to manage brands and how to strike the balance between decentralisation and centralisation. His approach stands the test of time.
He concludes: 'There is a logical way of doing business in accordance with the facts and circumstances of an industry, if you can figure it out.' His book helps us to do just that.'
Adrian Cadbury is the former chairman of Cadbury-Schweppes.