Turn again Tom Peters. Rest awhile Richard Pascale. Sleep a little later Schonberger. You might as well hang up your clogs, all you other peripatetic gurus. Managers are growing tired of imbibing wisdom while sitting at the feet of a master. In future, they want to be up and inventing their own solutions. That, at any rate, seems to be the message conveyed by a piece of research emanating from Ashridge.
Hoping to uncover trends in European management development - no doubt for its own nefarious purposes - the Hertfordshire college asked 142 medium-to-large companies in the UK, Germany, Benelux and Scandinavia to disclose their own intentions in this area.
Admittedly, 12% expected to make more use of 'acknowledged academic experts ... with international consulting experience'. But approaching half (46%) thought they would call on this kind of assistance less than in the past - if at all. One British human-resources chief actually confessed to a 'distrust' of business gurus. By contrast, over half the companies foresaw an increase in programmes aimed at 'personal diagnosis' and 'issues specific to the individual'. Overall, management development activity is set to increase, it seems. So take heart Tom. If all those hopefuls make a hash of it, companies could still dig into their coffers for you to tell them how to cope with chaos.