Peter Benlon, director general of the BIM, looks back over the past five years and feels that the institute can be satisfied with the role it has played in transforming UK management.
As revolution rolls round Europe, British managers face their own transformation. The force for change is similar: planned economies give way to market realities and command and control hierarchies break up under the new pressures. For more than a decade Britain has seen monopolies and cartels systematically dismantled. British managers in every aspect of the economy have had to face up to the new environment, ahead of the world. As Bob Horton put it, 'They must learn how to manage surprise.' The Flat Organisation arrives.
It is not that the old style of management with its clockwork of specialists was necessarily unsound for its own time. In the managed economy such structures are necessary. But when markets are in turmoil those hierarchies have proved arthritic and unresponsive. As we face turbulence in so many aspects of our economic life, a new way of managing has to be found. BIM calls it 'The New Management philosophy'.