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Cath Everett

Sift Media

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

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Management book of the year unveiled


‘The Cult of the Leader’ written by Christopher Bones won the Chartered Management Institute’s ‘Book of the Year’ at an awards ceremony hosted at the British Library in London last night.

The work was unanimously assigned the top slot by five judges, including Professor Cary Cooper, Sir Anthony Cleaver and former chief executive of the NSPCC, Dame Mary Marsh, beating 25 other shortlisted candidates.
It argues that organisations have been pulled into a talent war where they pay ever larger amounts of hard-earned revenues to a handful of ego-driven senior executives, dubbed by Bones as the “L’Oreal generation” because they think they’re worth it.
But the book, which makes the case that everyone from HR departments to business schools and boards of directors have some responsibility for the situation, also lays out a potential agenda for radical reform in the way that business leaders are educated, selected and rewarded.
Suggestions include taking a more realistic attitude towards the value of MBAs, promoting more internal candidates, removing unnecessary company benefits, eradicating share options and introducing stricter expenses regimes.
Cleaver, who as well as being a competition judge is also chairman of Novia Financial and the Caithness & North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership, said that the work made for uncomfortable reading at time and many of its recommendations were likely to be resisted.
But he added: “’The Cult of the Leader’ stood out for me, as it is so relevant in the current climate and its analysis of the underlying causes of today’s economic issues is the best I have seen. There can be very few, if any, businesses which would not benefit from taking a steer from its recommendations and implementing the most relevant.”
The book’s author Bones is professor of creativity and leadership at Manchester Business School and a joint founder of organisational change consultancy, Good Growth. He is also a former director of Cadbury-Schweppes and dean emeritus of the Henley Business School.
Other category winners included James Reed, chairman of recruitment consultancy Reed Group and author of ‘Put your mindset to work’. He came top of the ‘Best Commuter’s Read’ category and has written an ‘expert voice’ article for expanding on his views, which will be published on Thursday.
Mick Blowfield and Alan Murray, authors of ‘Corporate Responsibility’, meanwhile, also won best ‘Management and Leadership Textbook’, while Shaun Smith and Andy Milligan, who wrote ‘Bold: How to be brave in business and win’ lead in the ‘eBook’ category. Finally, Jeff Dyer et al, authors of ‘The innovator’s DNA’, were given top slot in the ‘Innovation and Entrepreneurship’ group.
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Cath Everett

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

Read more from Cath Everett

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