The main vehicle for sorting out this and all of the other key decisions at ICI is the executive team, which comprises Sir Denys plus the eight executive directors on the ICI board. They devise general policy, set budgets, weigh the competing claims of the various ICI businesses for resources, and monitor progress.
In this context, though he does not use the analogy himself, he clearly sees himself as more of a John Major than a Margaret Thatcher - a team leader, very much primus inter pares rather than a dominant (or domineering) force. He relies heavily not just on the individual expertise of the other members of the executive team but on their collective wisdom.
He described the relationship neatly when he became chairman-designate in 1986. "When the chairman or the chief executive in the US says 'Roll over' then everybody unquestioningly rolls over, and if they fall out of bed he gets fired and if it's successful he gets rewarded monumentally.