Saturday, December 11, 2004

Management without fear?

Well. It was nice to receive an invite for the Edward Boyle Memorial Lecture 2004, in the centenary year of the University of Leeds.

It seems that Edward Boyle was a Conservative Secretary of State for Education, who resigned from Politics and became Vice Chancellor of the University of Leeds. Then he died prematurely, so a memorial lecture has been set up in his honour. The said lecture is delivered in alternate years at the University of Leeds and The Royal Society of Arts (or to be an anorak, cheers Greg, The Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufacture and Commerce.

Anyway, the lecturer this year was given by Greg Dyke, currently unemployed of Peckham. His last job was as director general of the BBC. Prior to that, he had worked in television.

So, likesay, Greg resigned as DG in the wake of the Hutton Report. Amazingly, there was then a walkout at the BBC. So, was there something right about Greg’s style of management? Well tonight he went as far to say, amongst other things that a leader should care about those he or she leads. Sounds rather reminiscent of Robert Greenleaf’s “Servant Leadership”. YAY! In terms of management theory, I don’t think I heard anything new this evening, which is not to knock Greg Dyke, oh contraire! I was impressed by his passion and belief and that he might just have made it happen (anyone working for Auntie care to confirm or deny this?). He described a “climate of fear” in the BBC when he took over, which sounds just a bit like my previous employer Babylon Foods, but let’s not go there.

After the said lecture, delivered in the Great Hall, we adjourned to the Parkinson Court for drinks, YAY! First and no doubt last time I get a drink on the University. And then meeting some members or Union Council and a member of the University Court who used to be on Senate as a student representative and is now back at Uni as a member or the Court of Governors (as representative of the regional TUC), to the Old Bar for a pint. We did indeed neglect to invite Greg Dyke to Fruity, the Friday night at Leeds University Union’s award winning in house night club, but that was not my job it was Mitchell’s’ since he is going to be FCS officer next year. And I am not up for Fruity, I am an ancient relic who finds clubbing a crushing bore and all that.

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