MARTIN SORRELL: Ever wondered whether a trip to business school is worth the journey? Let the world's most powerful ad man sell it to you. In MT this month, Sir Martin Sorrell is just one of several high-profile alumni weighing up the value of an MBA. The chief executive of WPP, Harvard graduate Sorrell is also deputy chairman of London Business School and on the advisory boards of the Judge Institute and the IESE business school in Spain.
CHARLES HANDY: Could management guru Charles Handy soon be out of a job? This month, he reviews Kenneth Cloke and Joan Goldsmith's The End of Management and considers his fate. Handy, who started out as a marketing exec for Shell, became a professor at London Business School, specialising in managerial psychology. Bestsellers such as The Age of Unreason have led him to be dubbed 'the world's most influential manager'. Luckily, he prefers to describe himself as a social philosopher, thus escaping extinction.
DAVID WALKER: Who will replace Sir Richard Wilson as top dog of the civil service? In MT this month, David Walker checks out the form and discovers that - for the first time in Whitehall's history - the field of runners is wide open. He writes for the Guardian and is a regular presenter of BBC Radio 4's Analysis programme. His latest book, Did Things Get Better?, published by Penguin and co-written with Polly Toynbee, audits the successes and failures of the New Labour administration.
SIMON NIXON: As a committed believer that the end of the world is nigh, Simon Nixon is admirably qualified to write this month's feature on the Prophets of Doom. Now City editor of The Week, he quit as a City telecoms analyst in 1998, convinced the boom was about to bust, thereby missing out on the biggest bonus bonanza in City history. He insists he has no regrets: 'The good thing about believing the world is about to end means you get to live each day as if it's your last.'
CATHERINE MONK: Journalist Catherine Monk has written on many aspects of business, from Italian commerce to bond markets, besides launching a news web site and a magazine. She claims some of her best ideas have been cultivated over an espresso, including this month's Coming Up Fast feature on launching a business during a recession. Monk recently took a course on how to set up her own business. But she may wait for the next recession to kick in first before making her move.
SIMON SPILSBURY: It seems even illustrators fear being typecast. Before working on Simon Nixon's 'Prophets of Doom', London-based Simon Spilsbury was suffering from what he calls 'genital overkill', having just completed a teenage pregnancy press campaign for the COI and then started work on an animated series for Channel 4 about men's private bits. 'Maybe I shouldn't be surprised,' he concludes. 'I started my illustration career in a studio behind Soho's famous neon sign, Raymond's Review Bar.'